Monday, March 04, 2013

Hot Docs: How to Start a Revolution

Hot Docs highlights interesting new documentaries we've recently added to our collection.

How to Start a Revolution (DVD 10642) travels the globe to demonstrate the influence of Gene Sharp, a noted political scientist whose writings on nonviolent revolution and protest have been used worldwide. From Eastern Europe at the end of the Cold War to Egypt during the height of the Arab Spring, Sharp's writings have influenced generations of political upheaval. The film attempts to bring more credit to Sharp's writings and the ways that they have shaped freedom.

Official description from the film's website:
Half a world away from Cairo’s Tahrir Square, an ageing American intellectual shuffles around his cluttered terrace house in a working-class Boston neighbourhood. His name is Gene Sharp. White-haired and now in his mid-eighties, he grows orchids, he has yet to master the internet and he hardly seems like a dangerous man. But for the world’s dictators his ideas can be the catalyst for the end of their regime.

Few people outside the world of academia have ever heard his name, but his writings on nonviolent revolution (most notably ‘From Dictatorship to Democracy’, a 93-page, 198-step guide to toppling dictators, available free for download in 40 languages) have inspired a new generation of protesters living under authoritarian regimes who yearn for democratic freedom.

This new film HOW TO START A REVOLUTION reveals how Gene’s ideas work in action. The film uses extended interviews with Gene himself, his assistant, his followers and leaders of revolutionary movements worldwide, as well as user-generated content from around the globe, to reveal the power of nonviolent revolution on the streets.

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