Costa Rica abolished their army in 1948 and invested in health, education, & the environment. How did they choose such a bold peace?
Our film documents the 65-year long commitment by the happiest country on earth to abolish their military and invest in education, universal health care, peace, and the environment. Using film to reach audiences everywhere, this project is a peace education initiative that uses the inspirational power of Costa Rica's positive example. Please watch the short trailer above or at our website (www.aboldpeace.com).
Or, if you wish, view the 7 minute promotional trailer here:
Our film trailer gets to the core of what the larger film is about. As former Costa Rican President, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Oscar Arias says in our film: “The money other countries spend on arms, here it’s spent on roads, on running water, on electricity, on hospitals, on schools.” In the Costa Rican example we see significant links to Thomas Jefferson’s vision for the U.S. of “no standing army,” and President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about the threat militarism poses for our democracy, as he asked, “Is there no other way the world may live?”
How is it possible for a small nation to survive without a military for 65 years? Who are the visionary leaders who proposed this bold national security policy? And, what have the consequences been for Costa Rica? When a nation commits to a “no standing army” policy for decades, do the people begin to think differently about war and peace? Is it a coincidence that Costa Rica ranks #1 in the Happy Planet Index, or that the World Database of Happiness, with data on 149 nations, lists Costa Rica as number one in self-reported happiness and number one in happy life years?
A Bold Peace answers these and other questions in a riveting narrative about an inspiring national experiment that has been overlooked by the rest of the world for too long. With your financial help, this film is destined to become a significant peace-building film for our time, shifting paradigms in our thinking about what national security really means.
What your funds will make possible:
- rare archival footage from Costa Rica and the U.S.
- music score
- final audio mix
- materials for peace education to accompany the film in schools, colleges and communities around the world
- animation segments
- final interviews with UN diplomats
- finish editing & color grading
- press kit materials for film festivals
We have conducted over 40 high-quality filmed interviews with leading Costa Rican politicians, historians, journalists, business leaders, educators, and activists. In these interviews, Costa Rican elementary school teachers and students demonstrate their passion for peace education. Former President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Oscar Arias reflects upon the Costa Rican experiment and the dangers of U.S. militarism. We also interviewed citizens on the streets, in cafes, in rural coffee farms, and a group of Quakers from Alabama, whose moral protest of the U.S.’s permanent war economy led them to move to Costa Rica in 1951, and who later helped spark an environmental protection movement for the rainforests. These dynamic interviews form the backbone of our film, as Costa Ricans themselves tell the world about their experiment in creating and sustaining a democratic and peaceful society.
While many films critique U.S. militarism, this film offers the power of a hopeful and inspirational historical example of another way the world may live. We envision this film sparking conversations in communities across the U.S. about the heavy opportunity costs associated with militarism. Our film draws pointed contrasts between U.S. militarism and Costa Rica’s national security policies of diplomacy and nonviolence, and speaks directly to budgetary debates and governmental priorities in the U.S.
Presently, the world spends over $1.5 trillion a year on military, not including interest on debt from past military expenses. The U.S.A. spends nearly half of that. Yet, we are told we cannot afford to house, feed, and educate our nation's children, the elderly, and the sick even though relatively small cuts to defense expenditures could help solve pressing national and global problems. When Costa Rica abolished their army in 1948, they demonstrated that a poor country could meet its security needs without compromising democracy or quality of life, even among the poorest of its citizens.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We have done a lot on a shoe-string budget. A generous donation of $10,000 from the Jubitz Family Foundation got this off the ground. An additional $7,000 was raised and we are now ready to finish the script, pull together additional archival footage, secure licensing rights for some copyrighted materials, move to editing, and final production. The film can be finished with your help and achieve prominent distribution in film festivals, as well as the education and independent film markets.
But some challenges remain. Music. As we consider options for music scores, it is our strong preference to work with a Costa RIcan musician. While we have many contacts in the country, finding the right musician may present an obstacle down the road.
And archival film materials. Archived footage of important events in Costa Rica in the 1950s through the 1970s is hard to come by. We have collected some and have license to use it. But more is needed.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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All contributions over $10 will get a thank you on our website and Facebook page.Estimated delivery:
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All contributions over $25 will receive access to a digital download of the documentary film and get a thank you on our website and Facebook sites. Your name or organization will also be listed on a digital Supporter Page in the DVD "Extras" section.Estimated delivery:
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All contributions over $50 will get a copy of the DVD and a thank you on our website and Facebook page. Your name or organization will also be listed on a Supporter Page in the DVD "Extras" section.Estimated delivery:
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All contributions over $100 will get a copy of the DVD, access to a digital download of the documentary film, and a thank you on our website and Facebook page. Your name or organization will also be listed on a Supporter Page in the DVD "Extras" section.Estimated delivery:
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All contributions over $1000 will receive a thank you on our website and a copy of the DVD signed by the film makers. A digital download of the film will be accessible too. Your name or organization will roll on the film credits as a sponsor.Estimated delivery:
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All contributions over $5,000 will receive a thank you on our website and a copy of the DVD signed by the film makers. A digital download of the film will be accessible too. Your name or organization will roll on the film credits as a sponsor. You will also be invited to special film screenings and premiers, with tickets provided by the film makers. Transportation not covered, but we will get you a VIP seat at any one of the screenings you wish to attend.Estimated delivery:
- (60 days)