War and Peace: A review by Rashid Irani

 


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The Times of India, 26 June 2005
Fantastic, it’s accessible, it’s actually been released on the multiplex circuit. Irrepressible in his one-man crusade, Anand Patwardhan has assembled his finest work with War & Peace, sniping away courageously at the unchecked forces of militarism and nuclear proliferation.Patwardhan’s 90-minute cut of his three-hour long documentary traverses through India, Pakistan, Japan and the US. The outcome could be viewed as a Michael Moore-style of agitprop film-making. Unlike Moore though, Patwardhan strives to strike a balance between the hard-hitting visuals and pluralist political commentary.No preaching here. Marvellously, the candid camera’s eye is trained on events and people immediately affected by global warmongering. Dramatically framed by the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi 50 years ago, right down to the 9/11 tragedy of New York, the activist film-maker argues that religious fundamentalism and political aggrandisement are two sides of the same coin.Deftly blending archival footage with journalistic reportage, Patwardhan emphasises the need for a saner and safer world. A must-see for those who care about peace, not war.