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A Bold Peace

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.

'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

'Should be required viewing for any Peace Studies program...It will provide for stimulating discussion. Not only is A Bold Peace an excellent case study of how Costa Rica abolished its military, but it also makes important connections to militarism today and decisions made in the U.S. and other parts of the world that have such an impact on others' lives.' Dr. Patrick Van Inwegen, Associate Professor of Political Science, Whitworth University, Author, Understanding Revolution

'In the tension between security and freedom, A Bold Peace raises critical questions about militarism in national and international affairs. This story of Costa Rica - told in the context of a conflicted American hemisphere - offers a vision of hope. It advocates for national security founded in a thriving civil society that rejects militarism to address inequality and promote the common good.' Mike Klein, Assistant Professor of Justice and Peace Studies, University of St. Thomas

'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 in peace and development studies 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 Ctr 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


Main credits

Eddy, Matthew E. P. (film director)
Eddy, Matthew E. P. (film producer)
Eddy, Matthew E. P. (screenwriter)
Dreiling, Michael C. (film director)
Dreiling, Michael C. (film producer)
Garcia-Caro, Pedro (narrator)

Other credits

Filmed and edited by Teal Greyhavens; animator, Micah Bloom.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Central America/The Caribbean
Conflict Resolution
Drug War
Foreign Policy, US
Global Issues
International Studies
Latin American Studies
National Security
Political Science
Social Justice
Social Psychology
United Nations
War and Peace


Costa Rica, abolished army, foster peaceful society, demilitarization, Cross of Iron speech, Eisenhower, military-industrial complex, cultivated security relationships, treaties, international laws, international organizations, military spending burden, free public higher educational, universal health care, 1948 civil war, Central America, national security, armed forces, military, welfare state, UN University for Peace, Costa Rica in the 1940s, Dr Calderon Guardia, Manuel Mora, Jose Figueres Ferrer, Jose Figueres, Caribbean Legion, El Pacto de Ochomogo, militarism, Otilio Ulate, Don Pepe, Reagan Administration, Sandanistas, Contras, Nicaragua, Dr Oscar Arias, Rio Treaty, drug war, neutrality and Central America in the 1980s, 1986 election, CAFTA, neoliberalism, arms trade treaty, Luis Solis, biodiversity, happiness index, Mariano Figueres, Christiana Figueres, Glolria Bejarno de Calderon, Luis Roberto Zamora Bolanos, Arun Gandhi, David Barsamian, Norman Solomon, Francisco Cordero Gene, Dr Mirta Gonzales Suarez, Dr Aaron Arguedas, David Boddiger, Victor Ramirez, Dr Alison Brysk, Dr Fernando Mangel, Dr Esteban Gonzales Ramirez, Dr Mauricio Leandro, Mario Grant Saenz, Rodrigo Paris, Fr Pablo Richard, Walter Chacon Rojas, Dr Luis Garita Bonilla, Luis Alberto Monge; "A Bold Peace"; Bullfrog Films,doc; history; politics; sociss

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