The Third Harmony
Nonviolence and the New Story of Human Nature
Tells the story of nonviolence, the greatest overlooked resource in human experience.
Directed by Michael Nagler, PhD
Executive Producers: Tom Eddington, Steve Michelson
Writer: Michael Nagler, PhD
Editor: Sarah Gorsline
Camera: Lou Zweier, Michael Carrier
Narrator: Stephanie Van Hook
A Production of the Metta Center for Nonviolence
Drawing on interviews with veteran activists like civil rights leader Bernard Lafayette, scientists like behaviorist Frans de Waal and neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, political scientist Erica Chenoweth, futurist Elisabet Sahtouris and others, THE THIRD HARMONY will help students and the public to better grasp just what nonviolence is and how it works.
"Weaves together a brilliant tapestry of voices and experiences on the transformative power of nonviolence." Selina Gallo-Cruz, Assoc Prof, Peace and Conflict Studies, College of the Holy Cross
By revealing the convergence of modern science and the world's great wisdom traditions, the film also explores the important role that nonviolence plays in the wider struggle to develop a "new story" of human nature, that, contrary to the "old story", scarcity, competition and violence are not inevitable. Rather the universe is conscious and purposeful; we are spiritual beings, and cooperation and collaboration are our natural way of interacting.
Finally, the film points out what each of us can do to facilitate the fulfillment of Mahatma Gandhi's promise that nonviolence could "oversweep the world" and allow us each to find personal fulfillment in the process.
Grade Level: 9-12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2020
Copyright Date: 2020
DVD ISBN: 1-948745-51-8
"Hats off to the Metta Center for this intellectually challenging but completely accessible film that seamlessly addresses both theoretical and practical aspects of nonviolence. Viewers will go away not only appreciating the film's main theoretical point - that nonviolence is an essential human characteristic - but they will also find themselves face-to-face with the film's very practical challenge to take up the work of nonviolence in their own lives."
Charles R. DiSalvo, Professor of Law, West Virginia University, Author, M.K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law: The Man Before the Mahatma
"The Third Harmony weaves together a brilliant tapestry of voices and experiences on the transformative power of nonviolence to grow love, repair harm, and build a more sustainable and just world. Through a conversation that is at once interdisciplinary and keenly focused on practice, students will gain an understanding of the long history and diverse approaches of peacemaking and peaceful conflict resolution. This film should be assigned in every history and civics course as an introduction to the vast potential young people can harness in the face of the world's challenges. The insights it offers are vital to building a better world!"
Selina Gallo-Cruz, Associate Professor of Sociology and Peace and Conflict Studies, College of the Holy Cross
"The Third Harmony gathers some of the most important practical and academic voices of today, calling us to the profound change necessary for our survival. Showing recent examples of how nonviolence is the natural, default response of humanity, it is both inspirational and instructional. Used as a discussion starter it will kick off 1000 different discussions. I highly recommend this to any course on social engagement/change, political science, sociology, religion, and psychology."
Jonathan Rudy, Improving Practices Core Group Member, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict
"Utilizing leading figures in the field of non-violence, both activist and academic, this film provides insight and a road map into the power and efficiency of 'speaking truth to power.' This film bears witness to the power of non-violence and how as humans we can move forward together to solve the legacies of violence and build a brighter future for all. The Third Harmony is a wonderful addition to classroom studies that seek to move beyond the historical sketch of Non-Violence and situates the field as a positive and proactive force."
Dr. Greg Carroll, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Salem State University
"This inspiring video introduces nonviolent theory, strategy, and practice through diverse voices, examples, and geographies connecting a compelling history through an urgent present to a hopeful future. From India to Occupy, Palestine to Standing Rock, and Black Lives Matter to Climate Activism The Third Harmony identifies convincing arguments for the power of nonviolent resistance and potential for creative and proactive nonviolent action toward justice and peace...I recommend this film for educators and activists who seek to inspire and educate agents of nonviolent social change."
Mike Klein, Associate Professor and Program Director, Justice and Peace Studies, University of St. Thomas
"Listening to some of today's leading thinkers, activists, and educators, viewers will not only understand the essence of nonviolence, but will feel the powerful pulse of humanity's true heartbeat of love longing for peace with the natural world, with each other, and within themselves. The Third Harmony mixes real examples of nonviolence transformation together with supporting scientific evidence to shine a bright light on the way forward through the darkness of conflict, hate and violence currently threatening our global community. A must have for any nonviolence training curriculum or peace studies program."
Paul Bueno de Mesquita, Professor and Director, Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, University of Rhode Island
"Instructive, visually evocative, pragmatic and inspiring...The Third Harmony will serve well in classes, workshops, and study groups to introduce people to nonviolence. It is broad in scope, revealing nonviolence as an activity at local, national, international, and personal levels. It is comprehensive in presenting a variety of students and practitioners of nonviolence in Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. And it reveals the many dimensions of nonviolence, from political activity to a personal practice."
Barry L. Gan, Professor of Philosophy, Co-Director of the Center for Nonviolence, St. Bonaventure University
"The Third Harmony reveals the power and promise of nonviolent struggle fused with the pursuit of cooperative relations, and calls us to the important work of cultivating selves, societies, and ecosystems that can alleviate suffering."
Lee Smithey, Professor, Peace and Conflict Studies, Sociology, Swarthmore College, Director, Global Nonviolent Action Database
"I am exhilarated and grateful to the filmmakers for bringing forth such a fine gift for the future of life on Earth. Hurray! and deep bows."
Joanna Macy, deep ecologist, Buddhist scholar, Author, Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World
|Reduced rates for activist and grassroots groups. Please inquire.
Spanish, Italian, English (SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing)
Excellent 54-page Study Guide, complete with a Common Core curriculum guide
The producers' website
The film's website
Awards and Festivals
Illuminate Film Festival
United Nations Association Film Festival
Global Peace Film Festival
Social Emotional Learning
War and Peace
|AWAKE, A Dream from Standing Rock|
Record of the massive peaceful resistance led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to the Dakota Access Pipeline through their land and underneath the Missouri River.
Love & Solidarity
An exploration of nonviolence and organizing through the life and teachings of Rev. James Lawson.
A Bold Peace
70 years ago Costa Rica abolished its army and committed itself to fostering a peaceful society. It has been reaping the benefits ever since.
The Vow from Hiroshima
Marking the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, this is an intimate portrait of Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of Hiroshima, who has devoted her life to ridding the world of nuclear weapons.
Soldiers of Conscience
To kill or not to kill? For some the war is within.
The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It
The story of conscientious objectors in World War II.
Disturbing the Peace
A film about people born into conflict, sworn to be enemies, Palestinians and Israelis, who challenged their fate and joined together to say "enough."
The Art of Being Human
A remarkable artist who helps us see the humanity in others.
Japanese Americans, European Jews and peace activists who came of age during the Depression and WWII address the political storm clouds gathering today.
... more Reviews
"Very timely...powerful...The film has a lot of potential for use in the classroom, as the concepts can be applied through personal reflection or examination of social issues. High school or college programs that discuss social justice, protests, interpersonal communication, and/or philosophy would be target audiences for this film. Overall, the film's message is meaningful in the current socio-political environment and can start a conversation...Recommended."
Brandon West, State University of New York at Geneseo, Educational Media Reviews Online
"In this time of political unrest, this inspiring program with its message of peace and understanding is much needed."
Candace Smith, Booklist