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ultural And Social Anthropology (CASA)
Stanford University


War & Peace

a film by
Anand Patwardhan

April 26, 2003. 6 pm

Stanford University
Annenberg Auditorium


FREE screening; Seats first-come-first-served. Arrive early to get good seats.

Breaking News: 24 April 2003. The Honorable Justices H. Gokhale and R. Desai of the Bombay High Court delivered their final verdict in the matter of the censorship of the film "War and Peace" and declared that it was the filmmaker's "legitimate right to decide as to what should be included therein..." Earlier the Censor Board had ordered 21 cuts in the film, including demands to delete footage depicting the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse, all mention of the Tehelka arms scandal, all statements made by Dalits and all speeches by political leaders. Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) reduced the cuts to two and also asked for an "addition" to the film. The Censor Board then took the unprecedented step of challenging the order of their own higher body.


Filmed over three tumultuous years in India, Pakistan, Japan and the USA - WAR & PEACE / JANG AUR AMAN is an epic documentary journey of peace activism in the face of global militarism and war. Triggered by macabre scenes of jubilation that greeted nuclear testing in the Indian sub-continent, WAR & PEACE / JANG AUR AMAN is dramatically framed by the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. Fifty years after his death memories of Gandhi seem like a mirage that never was, created by our thirst for peace and our very distance from it.

This film is now facing a ban in India as the Indian Censor Board has ordered 21 cuts before it can be released in Theatres in India. The matter is in the courts.


  • Grand Prize, 2002 Earth Vision Film Festival (Tokyo)
  • Best Film, 2002 Mumbai International Film Festival (India)
  • International Jury Prize, 2002 Mumbai International Film Festival(India)
  • Critic's Prize (FIPRESCI), 2002 Sydney International Film Festival
  • Best Film, 2002 Indian Documentary Producers Association's (IDPA)


The film itself is a tour de force, beautifully shot and often darkly funny and much more riveting than the dry subject matter might suggest. Duncan Campbell - The Guardian, UK

A frightening examination of the continuing confrontation between nuclear neighbours India and Pakistan. Narrated in quiet yet passionate terms, (War and Peace) is of immense interest and importance. - David Stratton - Variety

The explosions and the resultant jingoistic euphoria are a function of the frustration and fevered anger of a failed elite, the film argues, backing its argument with vivid images of nationalistic and religious fervor that verge on the surreal. - Ashfaque Swapan, India-West

Perhaps the most important film in this year's Berlin Film Festival - Reuters


This film is shown as part of a class CASA 74: Bollywood and Beyond: South Asian Histories and Cultures through Popular Film

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