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One-Million Person Nuclear Disarmament March - 40th Anniversary


Nationally Broadcast on Free Speech TV

Directed by Robbie Leppzer

Photographed and Edited by John Bishop
Music by Paul Winter, Bread and Puppet Theater and Fourth Wall Repertory Company
9 minutes • 1984/2022 • Digitally Re-mastered HD Version


On June 12, 1982, over one-million people gathered in New York City to call for an end to the nuclear arms race.  Presented in a fast-paced, up-beat style, CHOOSE LIFE captures the feeling and spirit of this historic day.


“One Earth, One Humanity, One Future” reads a banner, as the camera pans across a colorful sea of people marching in front of the United Nations on their way to gather in Central Park.


Americans from all walks of life are asked why they came to march:  an elderly man, a union organizer, a high school student, a mother with young children.  Their answers come straight from the heart: “We're here because we want to live.”  “It's an issue of survival.”  “Unless the people take to the streets, the governments will not act.” Forty years later, their testimonies are more timely than ever. 


The film features musical appearances by Paul Winter playing “Amazing Grace” on the saxophone as he walks past the United Nations, along with scenes featuring the Bread and Puppet Theater and the Fourth Wall Repertory Company.


As a portrait of the largest demonstration in U.S. history at that time, CHOOSE LIFE documents an inspiring and significant turning point for the nuclear disarmament movement. 


Local, regional and national organizations can create a fundraiser and educational outreach opportunity for your group by partnering with us to host a virtual cinema screening of CHOOSE LIFE.

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CHOOSE LIFE  reminds us of the tremendous power of the 1980's movement to end the Cold War arms race. And it reminds us that we can mobilize again, this time to eliminate nuclear weapons altogether. We know we can build this movement.  We've already done it once, we just have to do it again.”

—Ira Helfand, Co-Founder and Past President, Physicians for Social Responsibility,

Past President, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

(1985 Nobel Peace Prize recipient),

International Steering Group, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons,

(2017 Nobel Peace Prize recipient),

Steering Committee, Back From The Brink

CHOOSE LIFE recalls in an exciting way that historic day in 1982 when an unprecedented gathering of a million people took place in Central Park in New York City to call for a freeze on the production and testing of nuclear weapons.  The blending of music and spontaneous interviews is enormously effective in conveying the spirit of that demonstration.  I hope that young people in schools all over America will see this film and be inspired by it.


"A stirring film about a stirring event.  A must viewing for anyone concerned about halting the nuclear madness.  CHOOSE LIFE documents a piece of history that must not be forgotten." 

Harvey Wasserman, historian and author of ENERGY WAR and KILLING OUR OWN


Political Science • Sociology • Peace Studies • American Studies • Nuclear Disarmament • Communication • Philosophy • Politics & Government • Politics of Peace and Conflict • Contemporary Social Movements • Human Rights • Social Change • Documentary Film Studies • Media and Contemporary Culture • Modern Political Thought • Philosophy of Nonviolence

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