THE PEACE PATRIOTS
A Primer on Dissent in a Time Of War
Nationally Broadcast on Free Speech TV
Excerpts Globally Broadcast on DEMOCRACY NOW!
Narrated by Janeane Garofalo
Directed by Robbie Leppzer
78 minutes • 2005/2021 Digitally Remastered HD Version • Closed Captions
When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, there was a huge protest against this war across the country and around the world, which was largely ignored by the American mainstream media. In an unprecedented day of global protest—one month before the invasion began—over 15 million people around the world demonstrated against this impending war.
In the United States, grassroots citizen opposition during the first 18 months of the Iraq war grew at a larger and faster rate than during the Vietnam anti-war movement of the 1960s. Americans protested against this war in hundreds of cities and towns across the country.
THE PEACE PATRIOTS chronicles the story of people opposed to war who live in one area of New England, the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts.
This film is a primer about the various ways people express dissent in a democratic society.
Narrated by actress Janeane Garofalo, this feature-length documentary film follows a diverse group of individuals, ranging in age from 14 to 75, including middle and high school students, college students, teachers, clergy, and war veterans from Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, as they take part in vigils, marches, teach-ins, theater performances, and civil disobedience sit-ins to protest the start of the U.S. war in Iraq.
THE PEACE PATRIOTS is an intimate portrait of American dissenters reflecting on their personal participation as engaged citizens in a time of war.
The film features contemporary music by Grammy Award winner Steve Earle, Pete Seeger, Ani DiFranco, Billy Bragg, Jonatha Brooke, Stephan Smith, Saul Williams, DJ Spooky, Jami Sieber, Shelley Doty and original music by John Sheldon.
“THE PEACE PATRIOTS takes the word ‘patriotism’ and gives it a rich positive meaning, removing it from the ugliness of war and nationalism, and restoring its original idea as ‘love of country.’ It does this by showing us true patriots—those people who, with artistry and imagination, as well as deep moral commitment, have spoken and acted to end the war in Iraq. In a time of sadness, thinking of the dead and maimed on both sides, this film gives us hope and inspiration. I hope it will be shown widely.”
—Howard Zinn, Author of A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
"A filmmaker unafraid to go against the tide."
—Rhonda Stewart, THE BOSTON GLOBE
“THE PEACE PATRIOTS beautifully demonstrates that ordinary people committed to peace and social justice can make a difference. Anyone feeling burned out from resisting the direction our government is headed in will get a shot of energy from this film."
—David Potorti, Director, September 11th Families For Peaceful Tomorrows
“THE PEACE PATRIOTS is a moving documentary that is sure to inspire. In an atmosphere rife with frustration and apathy, this film stands out by giving hope to activists and inspiring those who may not be activists to be activists.”
—John Behnken, Student, Kent State University
"As a documentary filmmaker, Robbie Leppzer boldly accepts the role of contemporary historian who permits those working for peace to show that dissent is patriotic. He defies the censorship masterminded by the mass media to let the voices of students of all ages, combat veterans, teachers, clergy and all the outraged speak for themselves. THE PEACE PATRIOTS humanizes political activism by focusing on the eloquence of everyday people. This film has helped to awaken and empower our students."
—Shane Boeder, Ph.D., Professor of Foreign Languages, Marian College
“THE PEACE PATRIOTS is a powerful portrayal of activism. As a college professor who is interested in exposing students to nonviolent means of action against injustice, I have found this film to be very uplifting. I highly recommend it as a teaching tool."
—Abbie Jenks, Professor of Psychology and Peace Studies, Greenfield Community College
“THE PEACE PATRIOTS proved to be both inspirational and educational for our audience. The documentary left our audience feeling inspired that there were like-minded activists working for peace and justice in other communities around the United States. I wholeheartedly recommend this film for anyone who is interested in learning about the peace movement.”
—Paul Lachapelle, Students for Peace and Justice, University of Montana
FILM FESTIVAL SCREENINGS
• Camden International Film Festival
• Northern Lights Documentary Film Festival
• Vermont International Film Festival
• Boston Independent Film Festival
• Plymouth Independent Film Festival
• 7 Islands International Film Festival (Mumbai, India)
• Northampton Independent Film Festival
• Global Peace Film Festival
• Grassroots Film Festival
RECOMMENDED SUBJECT AREAS
Political Science • Sociology • Peace Studies • American Studies • Middle East Studies • Communication • Philosophy • Politics & Government • Politics of Peace and Conflict • Contemporary Social Movements • Human Rights • US Foreign Policy • Social Change • Documentary Film Studies • Media and Contemporary Culture • Politics and International Law • Modern Political Thought • Philosophy of Nonviolence