Unusual film exploring images of war and peace - some nice footage - a hippie feel to the film.
Winner - Gold Award, Chicago Industrial Film Festival, 1974.
01:00:22 Film begins with a very fast cut montage. First part of the story is mute. Images are: flashing coloured blocks, Leonardo de Vinci's famous line drawing of a man (the image used at the beginning of "World in Action"), landscapes, C/U of woman's eyes, a handshake, wrestlers, a holy man holding a bunch of flowers, soldiers on the march, C/U of bunch of flowers in a vase, extreme C/U of a mouth moving, Molotov cocktail being lit, building being demolished, clenched fist, V for victory sign, clenched fist, skyscape with various coloured filters. Montage presumably aims to suggest contrast between war and peace.
01:00:39 Time lapse photography of clouds moving across a landscape and sun rising. Clouds shot in time lapse. Camera follows a seagull as it flies above the sea. Extreme C/U of light playing on the water, camera pulls back to show sea moving over rocks. L/S from high angle of beautiful rugged beach. Landscape, cows lie in a field. Extreme C/U of man's ear pans across to show his eyes. Water rushing across rocks. Pan across to show a woman's eyes in C/U - she smiles. Sound track comes in. C/Us of the faces of the couple are intercut with L/Ss of the landscape. Song on soundtrack is saying: "Why can't we have peace all the time?" C/U of two hands joining - presumably the couple. Shots of the couple embracing and kissing. He caresses the woman's face as she smiles.
01:03:35 The couple kiss. C/U of the wheels of traffic. Shots of the couple intercut with busy traffic scenes. Gendarme directs traffic. Aircraft flies overhead. The couple begin to argue. We see them getting angry with each other - shots intercut with traffic scenes and demonstrators with banners. Shots of the couple arguing are intercut with shots of dictators, angry civilians, tanks, Nazis, barbed wire, C/Us of angry mouths etc. The man grabs a chain from the woman's neck.
01:04:25 War montage - tanks, explosions, guns being loaded, bombers flying overhead, demonstrations, machine guns, warship, bombs being dropped, aircraft in flight on fire, bombing raids, nuclear bomb - mushroom cloud. Excellent montage - very short shots. Narrator speaks over the war shots: "We have always lived in fear, afraid of one another. One nation afraid of other nations. Today the conflict between blocks, West versus East . The spokesman for each: NATO and the Warsaw Pact, both maintaining a state of uneasy peace. This film is about fear, about conflict, about 15 nations who decided that the best way of maintaining peace was to form a defensive alliance born out of fear. What was there to be frightened of?" Narration describes how after the second world war, people looked forward to a stable and peaceful future. The narrator then details how the Soviet Union had annexed various territories during the war and how it continued with aggressive behaviour in the immediate post war period. Long travelling shots of bomb damaged buildings. Prisoners of war (?) Montage of the civilian victims of aggression - food queues, evacuees (?), women and children looking sad. "...before anyone realised the danger, the damage was done. Besides, there was no European Alliance to protect it." A simplistic animation of a wall being built in the middle of an idyllic landscape is used to represent "military unification - one massive block." Narrator speaks of the forming of the North Atlantic Treaty organisation. Camera zooms in to a representation of the earth viewed from space. Examples of the flags of the 15 countries contributing to this defensive alliance. Numbers on screen count back from 1960 to 1945. Still image of soldiers holding their fists high in victory pose. Still of women waving to a departing liner. High angle shot of Stalin shaking hands then sitting down at a circular conference table. Soldiers on the march, tanks in the street, Unidentified Eastern European leader lying in state.
01:06:49 The Berlin blockade, Hungary and Poland. Various shots of military presence including a very clear shot of a civilian being shot in the back as he runs from soldiers - he falls to the ground. Map of Europe showing which countries Russia had invaded up to and including Czechoslovakia in 1968. C/U of Stalin. Group of men stand and applaud. M/S of Russian army march past. Tank. C/U of flags of NATO - "The reluctant soldier" - various shots of members of NATO - meeting in progress. Members showing their identification papers as they enter the NATO building. C/U of NATO representatives.
01:07:50 Aircraft flying overhead. Narrator speaks of nuclear weapons. C/Us of signs in Berlin which read: "British Sector." "Vous quittez le Secteur Francais" and "You are leaving the American sector." Aircraft comes in to land. A large star draped in fabric or perhaps a flag, falls from the top of a building. Men run for cover, walls are rebuilt, barbed wire is attached to a pole, cameramen duck for cover, people look through barbed wire.
01:08:22 Nikita Krushchev disembarks from a train and embraces a man not recognised. Tank, radar equipment, submarines, aircraft, aircraft carriers, military at work, helicopters. Voiceover speaks of the stockpile of nuclear weapons. Various shots of NATO members. "The ultimate disaster may never happen, but there are other, more immediate problems which affect us all. Pollution..." Environmental concerns are taken up by NATO. "There is little point in keeping the peace for over 20 years if the lives we live today are threatened by poison, disease and decay." Still image of a cowboy just about to reach for his gun in extreme C/U with a figure standing in the distance in a field - as if in the sights of the gunman.
01:09:46 Montage of still images of children playing in the open air. C/Us of children's faces and hands. We see the children fight with each other through the stills. "We have within us the potential for hatred and the potential for love. For war or for peace. While we have the time, which shall we choose?"
01:10:08 Launch of a Polaris missile from the sea. Animation of missiles piling up on top of the earth until it cracks apart under the strain. Montage of images presumably representing how we have polluted the earth. A small motor boat is moves through polluted waters, industrial chimneys belch smoke, traffic, exhaust pipes, dead fish in polluted river, aircraft, dirty water emerging from sewage (?) pipes, Shots of nuclear missile being prepared for launch contrasted with shots of the loving couple and of hyacinths growing through time lapse photography.
Shot of the couple with a clapperboard in view. They stand very still and look serious. Landscape shots - river, field, seascapes, cliffs, rolling clouds, sun setting. End title reads: "A NATO film. Camera: Nick Gifford. Sound: Peter Le Moine. Editor: Richard Perfitt. Producer: Michael Redington. Director: Lawrence Moore. An RMEMI production.
Note: There is no soundtrack for this part of the film . Can labels state that this was "Production 24" and that the M&E track was also used for Production 29.
There is a nice "peace and love" hippie feel to the film. Psychedelic images, groovy music, juxtapositioning of "concept" footage. Very interesting!