Beyond Vassar

Documentary Film

By Georgette Weir

A Force More Powerful

A Century of Nonviolent Conflict
York-Zimmerman, Inc., and WETA Washington, DC, coproducers
Aired on PBS starting September 18

(check your local listings)

Miriam A. Zimmerman '82 was managing producer on this award-winning documentary that tells the story of how nonviolent power became an effective tool against oppression and authoritarianism in the 20th century.

Initially released as a feature-length film in special screenings (including at the Library of Congress for members of congress, hosted by Rep. John Lewis and the ambassadors of India and South Africa, and the Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles) and on the film festival circuit, A Force More Powerful will be shown in an expanded format on National Public Broadcasting Service this fall. (The 90-minute programs are scheduled to be aired at 9 p.m. on Sept. 18 and 25; check your local listings.) A companion book is to be released as well by St. Martin's Press.

Both the feature film and the series tell the stories of Gandhi's leadership of the nonviolent struggle for Indian independence, the integration of the lunch counters in Nashville in the 1960s, and the economic boycotts that helped bring about the end of apartheid in South Africa. The television series expands the history to include the Danish resistance to Nazi occupation, the Polish Solidarity movement, and the Chilean opposition movement that brought down the Pinochet dictatorship.

The film won a gold special jury award at the WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, that festival's highest award for documentaries, and a third place at the Seattle International Film Festival. The film was written, produced, and directed by Zimmerman's husband, Steve York. Ben Kingsley narrates.

Zimmerman notes that film for the project was shot in eight countries and that stock and archival materials were acquired from around the world. Extensive educational outreach components, including teaching guides for college/high school and community groups, will be available. For more information, contact