In the early 1980's, the threat of nuclear war was omnipresent. It occurred to me, while brainstorming with a friend, Robert Pacelli, that instead of a documentary using talking heads and news footage, we could create a film that carried a message with images that had a language of their own. I worked together with video artist Robert Pacelli to create this film using digital special effects to convey both despair and hope.
A Federal appeals court struck down the Government's attempt to limit tax-free export of documentary films that advocate a cause, calling regulations drafted by the United States Information Agency a "virtual license to engage in censorship."
The ruling was hailed as "A First Amendment victory of major proportions" by the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, which represented a group of independent film makers who had filed suit against the agency in 1985.
The films that were denied the certification that would have kept them from being subject to import taxes by the countries to which they were exported include "In Our Backyards: Uranium Mining in the United States," "Save the Planet," "Ecocide: A Strategy of War" , "From the Ashes . . . Nicaragua Today" and "Peace: A Conscious Choice."
The 3-0 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a 1986 decision by Judge A. Wallace Tashima of Federal District Court in Los Angeles, which declared unconstitutional the regulations used by the U.S.I.A. to decide which films would be exempt from the taxes. The U.S.I.A. set these regulations under the terms of a 1954 international treaty designed to insure wide circulation of educational, scientific and cultural films. read more
PEACE: A Conscious Choice was produced during the Cold War (1982), seven years before the Berlin Wall fell (1989). This short animated film underscores the importance of dialogue which leads to understanding between nations that are on the brink of attacking each other. The film emphasizes, using both Russian and English languages, that the first step toward peace is communication. The purpose of the film, was to encourage the United States and the Soviet Union to understand that the destinies of their countries were inextricably related. The film underscores that their relationship has implications for world peace.
"PEACE: A Conscious Choice Gandhi's words inspired this production by award-winning filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman. Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. The film provides a positive vision of joining together to create peace; a much more challenging step than avoiding the horrors of war, and an essential one if we are to succeed in avoiding war."
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