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How to Start a Revolution (2011)

HOW TO START A REVOLUTION is the remarkable untold story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp, the world's leading expert on non-violent revolution. This new film (from first time ... See full summary »

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Robert Helvey ...
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Jamila Raqib ...
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Gene Sharp ...
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HOW TO START A REVOLUTION is the remarkable untold story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp, the world's leading expert on non-violent revolution. This new film (from first time director Ruaridh Arrow) reveals how Gene's work has given a new generation of revolutionary leaders the weapons needed to overthrow dictators. It shows how his 198 steps to non-violent regime change have inspired uprisings from Serbia to Ukraine and from Egypt to Syria and how his work has spread across the globe in an unstoppable wave of profound democratic change. How To Start A Revolution is the story of the power of people to change their world, the modern revolution and the man behind it all. Written by Anonymous

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24 February 2012 (USA)  »

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Interesting subject, manipulative film
15 March 2016 | by See all my reviews

"How to Start a Revolution" explains a little bit about Gene Sharp's work about bringing non-violent movements to the light, an approach little known about but that has shown that it works more than violent revolutions. Sharp has written some books, and has made a list of 198 ideas of how societies can try to change their countries. You may not agree with his list or his ideas, but that doesn't mean that they should be thrown away. For any human being out there, non-violent solution to a problem has probably worked more than once, be it an excuse to not wash the dishes or the "forgotten" homework.

Sadly, the movie is as manipulative as it comes. First, it takes the white guy saves the world perspective, making Sharp's work more important than it is. He is good in bringing some ideas to the public light. That doesn't mean he created them or that he is the one implementing them. It takes people out of the light. Oh, yes, you have some interviews... about how important Sharp's books were. Really? People didn't know that singing had an use till Sharp said so? It reeks of pandering. And people that do a good job shouldn't need that. On top of that the best world would be a world without heroes. You just need them in time of need, so... And how about all this countries that are spoken about (Ukraine, Egipt, Syria...). Did the ideas work out? Were they correctly implemented, or implemented by the "right" people? I can hide information and make things seem what they are not too.

And if that was not enough, the film tries to play with the viewer's feelings, using music and images in a cheap cheap way.

If we take into account that non-violent movements is something that should be thought more about, the movie should not pander to the converted. And if you want to make a movie about Gene Sharp, make it about him, not about his supernatural powers to bring revolution.


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