Almost 70 years ago Costa Rica abolished its army and committed itself to fostering a peaceful society. A BOLD PEACE juxtaposes the national policy of demilitarization with their investment in education, health, and the environment.
In his famous "Cross of Iron" speech in 1953, President Eisenhower critiqued the military-industrial complex while asking, "Is there no other way the world may live?" In Costa Rica today, we glimpse another way to live.
In 1948, Costa Rica dismantled their military establishment and intentionally cultivated security relationships with other nations through treaties, international laws, and international organizations. Free of the burden of military spending, they used the financial savings to invest in their people, creating strong public institutions including public higher education and universal health care. In short, Costa Ricans created a society committed to peace, solidarity, and international law. They have survived with safety and relative prosperity for nearly 70 years without a standing army.
A BOLD PEACE details the events which shook the country to its foundations, culminating in the 1948 civil war and the decision to abolish the military. Over the decades, the Costa Rican model has survived several serious crises, but the current threats may be the most formidable of all.
Directed by Matthew Eddy, Michael Dreiling
Director of Photography: Teal Greyhavens
Executive Producer: Al Jubitz
Narrator: Pedro Garcia-Caro
Animation: Micah Bloom
A Soul Force Media production in association with Spiral Pictures
"One of the most enlightening films of our times."
Leon Stuparich, Huffington Post
"A fascinating documentary...Tells the remarkable story of war avoided, or transcended, again and again and again...By the film's end, this way emerges not simply as possible, not simply as a curiosity, but as the model for the future."
Robert Koehler, Huffington Post
"This is a story that every American with a political pulse should know."
Veterans for Peace, Spokane, Washington
"A Bold Peace should be given every possible means of support."
David Swanson, Author of War Is a Lie
"A Bold Peace captures the spirit of my father and the soul of my country."
Christiana Figueres, former UN Climate Chief
"This is a story that dares us to think differently and to imagine a better way. A Bold Peace seeks to re-frame possibilities for the future by challenging the western paternalistic notion of peace through strength. This insightful film is a must for those...who are interested in giving voice to alternative narratives."
Dr. Greg Carroll, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Salem State University
"A Bold Peace clearly illuminates the linkages between anti-militarism, on the one hand, and social justice, mutual solidarity and democracy on the other. The film will prompt informed discussion about alternatives to both traditional conceptions of national security and neoliberal approaches to economic management. The film suggests that real power arises neither from geographic size nor the barrel of a gun, but from creative thinking about peace-making and conflict resolution."
David Skidmore, Professor of Political Science, Director of Center for Global Citizenship, Director of Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs, Drake University
"Excellent film...Certain to stimulate discussion on policy choices regarding military spending and human security. It would be relevant to a wide range of classes in Latin American Studies, Comparative Foreign Policy, U.S. Foreign Policy, International Law, Peace Studies, Security Studies, and Policy Analysis. It would also be interesting to adult education and church and civic discussion groups especially in view of current policy debates in the United States."
Dr. JoAnn Aviel, Professor of International Relations, San Francisco State University
"For peace groups and the left, this is a film that would be of enormous value since it demonstrates the benefits that social democracy can deliver."
Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist