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Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It, The

A film by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Tejada-Flores

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Millions of people from Allied countries fought to liberate Europe from Hitler’s grip during World War II . Yet 40,000 Americans refused to shoulder weapons in “the good war.”

Narrated by Ed Asner, this important film tells the story of a previously ignored chapter of WWII – the American conscientious objectors who refused to fight. It is a story of personal courage, idealism and nonconformity based on both ethical and religious beliefs – about men whose love of country could not extend to killing their fellow man.

Many were Quakers or others whose religious beliefs interpreted the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” to include war; others were passionate pacifists who felt morally incapable of cooperating with a violent conflict, no matter how worthy the cause.

All lived with the scorn of a nation, and often family and friends as well. While it has been more than half a century since WWII , this particular war story has been almost entirely lost to history until now.

A film by Judith Ehrlich (co-director of the Oscar-nominated The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers) and Rick Tejada-Flores • Narrated by Ed Asner

WINNER! Film of the Year, American Historical Association
WINNER! Film of the Year, Organization of American Historians
WINNER! Best Documentary, Ojai Film Festival

What the Critics are Saying

"! Fascinating! Highly Recommended. Editor’s Choice." - Video Librarian

"In a time when it’s again easy to endorse any military response to the savagery of terrorists, The Good War provides a necessary reminder that pacifists also can be heroic and patriotic." - Christianity Today

"An important contribution to the history of the second World War."
- Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States

Recommended Reading

Smoke Jumping on the Western Fire Line: Conscientious Objectors During World War II by Mark Matthews

A Few Small Candles: War Resisters of World War II Tell Their Stories ed. Larry Gara & Lenny Mae Gara

Free to Die for Their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II
by Eric L. Muller

Features and Specifications

Bonus materials:

  • The Conscientious Objector Handbook, the up-to-date guide to the Draft
  • Interviews with Daniel Ellsberg, Studs Terkel, James Farmer, Ambassador Max Kampleman & More
  • WWII Poster Gallery: Propagandizing the Good War
  • DVD-ROM Features (Documents and Links to Non-Violence, Draft, Counter-Recruitment and Military Resources)

Format: DVD
Release Year : 2000
Running Time: 57 minutes + over 2 hours of bonus materials
Color: Color
Language: English

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