Our films are important reminders that some people make great sacrifices to talk truth to power and often they pay a price. Howard Zinn: You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004) (short-listed for an Academy Award) looks at the history of social movements of the 20th century through the eyes of activist/historian Howard Zinn. The FBI’s War on Black America (1990) is a rigorous examination of the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO program. An underground classic, the film remains a relevant cautionary tale about the dangers of government surveillance. Peace Has No Borders is yet another chapter, reflecting on the impact of social activism and resistance to war.
Philosopher and educator John Dewey argued that the function of art is to break through the crust of conventionalized and routine consciousness. Our film follows a relatively obscure story about a war that is no longer in the forefront of public discourse. At the same time, Peace Has No Borders is a political thriller that captures an essence of Canada’s Harper years and is a testament about just how difficult fighting the power of governments can be.
Peace Has No Borders follows contemporary soldiers for peace, revealing both the power and limitations of activism. When we began work on this film there were several good films being made about the Iraq War and we didn’t want to duplicate those efforts. Instead, we found a parallel story about veterans who crossed the border to Canada seeking asylum, much like their Vietnam era counterparts. Peace Has No Borders keeps their story alive for future generations who will face their own decisions in the face of war.
Peace Has No Borders is about resistance to war. Through focus on individuals and organizations challenging what they feel is unjust in the world, certain truths about the power of small acts of resistance are revealed. If there’s anything we’ve learned through our films, it’s respect for the tenacity required by those who choose to challenge the status quo.