IMDb > How to Start a Revolution (2011)

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Ruaridh Arrow (writer)
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Release Date:
24 February 2012 (USA) See more »
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
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(2 articles)
13th Psbt Open Frame Festival from Sept 11
 (From 7 September 2013, 12:00 AM, PDT)

This week's new film events
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 14 October 2011, 4:05 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Interesting subject, manipulative film See more (2 total) »


Robert Helvey ... Himself
Jamila Raqib ... As Herself
Gene Sharp ... Himself

Directed by
Ruaridh Arrow 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ruaridh Arrow  writer

Produced by
Robb Allen .... associate producer
Uros Anderlic .... associate producer
Kylie Gutry .... associate producer
Cynthia Ryan .... associate producer
Richard Shaw .... producer
Cailean Watt .... assistant producer
Cinematography by
Philip Bloom 
Film Editing by
Mike Crozier 
Sound Department
Matt Cheney .... dubbing mixer
Editorial Department
Lorrin Braddick .... second editor
Matthew Eversfield .... on-line editor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

85 min


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Interesting subject, manipulative film, 15 March 2016

"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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