I made this documentary to show how one man’s actions changed the course of history when he challenged his country’s foreign policy decisions. S. Brian Willson is a Vietnam veteran turned anti-war activist. He witnessed his government repeating the mistake of entering another war after Vietnam and decided to do something about stopping it.
I felt his story deserved the making of a documentary about his life, his conclusions about the lies used to justify war, his non violent protests, and about other activists who were influenced by him. After his experiences in Vietnam, Brian spoke out against US government actions in supporting another unlawful war against Nicaragua, by funding an external force called the Contras to overthrow this small democratically elected government in Central America.
As a filmmaker I changed my own course from producing environmental and ethnographic films to produce this documentary about Brian and other anti-war activists. I felt there was no topic more important at this time in my life as I’ve witnessed our country wage wars of aggression under every president since I was born–from Truman to Obama.
Serendipitously, I was offered historic video footage of Brian’s numerous protests and actions to use in the film. And with Brian’s cooperation I began a journey that has spanned 4 years to document his story, one that still resonates deeply among many Americans, Nicaraguans, and international citizens today. Brian believed in following his principles, and this includes his infamous action of blocking a munitions train on the tracks at the US Navy’s Weapons station in 1987 that nearly cost his life, But Brian’s actions triggered the mobilization of ten thousand supporters who came at those same tracks 5 days later in solidarity with his action. Brian continues his non violent activism until today with his travels, speeches, books, and his nonviolent protests against war and injustice. He is joined and supported by many friends and colleagues in the film including Dan Ellsberg, Medea Benjamin, Colonel Ann Wright, Alice Walker, Martin Sheen, Ron Kovic, David Hartsough and others.
We plan to show this film to many citizens in the US and the world in order to raise more consciousness and awareness about the roles citizens can take to become more actively involved against our government’s limitless expenditures on militarism, waging war, and its propaganda. I wanted to show through the film’s characters that with more love and understanding toward others, that it is only through peace and diplomacy that we will survive as a species.
(visit my bio page for more information about me and others working on the film)