HARVEST OF PEACE
A Citizen-To-Citizen Peace Effort in Nicaragua In The 1980s
World premiere, Telluride Film Festival
“Best Nonfiction Film,” San Antonio Cine Festival
“Curator's Choice,” New England Film Festival
Nationally Broadcast on Free Speech TV
Directed by Robbie Leppzer
Produced by Lisa Berger
Music by Holly Near, Carlos Mejía Godoy, Shadowfax, Sotavento and more
A Turning Tide Production
29 minutes, 1985
During the height of the U.S.-backed Contra war in Nicaragua in the mid-1980s, hundreds of North Americans traveled to this Central American country to volunteer their labor in the cotton and coffee harvests. HARVEST OF PEACE is an intimate and moving portrait of a group of 150 U.S. citizens who spent two weeks in a remote village, seeing for themselves the impact of war on the Nicaraguan people.
The film offers glimpses into the lives of campesinos (peasants) who speak passionately about how they have been affected by the Sandinista revolution and their hopes for change in their country. The North American volunteers express their concerns about the role of the U.S. government in the war and their heartfelt desire to build bridges of friendship and peace with Nicaraguans.
Scenes of daily life—women making tortillas, washing clothes by hand, picking cotton, children playing—contrast with the harsh realities of the ongoing war. Villagers sort through the charred remnants of a house after a Contra attack, while the U.S. volunteers dig bomb shelters. In lighter moments, the North Americans and Nicaraguans play baseball, dance, and relax together at the beach.
HARVEST OF PEACE blends personal testimony with evocative images and music to create an impressionistic portrait of an inspiring citizen-to-citizen peace effort.
"Poetic” and “lyrical"
—Dennis West, CINEASTE
"A striking evocation of Nicaragua's struggle and a moving expression of America's best response."
—Andrew Kopkind, THE NATION
"HARVEST OF PEACE was shown to my anthropology class. It worked very well as a stimulant to an animated discussion on Nicaragua. The film was very effective in opening their eyes to a new awareness."
—John Strong, Professor of Anthropology, Long Island University
"Of the many works about Nicaragua, the one that moved me the most was HARVEST OF PEACE. With its sophisticated camera movements, color filters and slow-motion sequences, this film creates a rich, alluring texture that implicates you in a struggle we ignore only at our peril."
— Steve Kellman, SAN ANTONIO LIGHT
"Not only a powerful political statement, but an artistic work."
—Wes Blixt, UNION-NEWS
RECOMMENDED SUBJECT AREAS
Central America • Latin American Studies • American Studies • Political Science • Sociology • Peace Studies • American History • Communications • Spanish • Philosophy • Politics & Government • US Foreign Policy • Politics of Peace and Conflict • Contemporary Social Movements • Social Change • Media and Contemporary Culture • Multicultural Education • Documentary Film Studies