A Force More Powerful (2 X 84 min) explores how popular movements battled entrenched regimes and military forces with unconventional weapons like boycotts, strikes, and demonstrations. Acts of civil resistance helped subvert the operations of government, and direct intervention in the form of sit-ins, nonviolent sabotage, and blockades frustrated many rulers' efforts to suppress people.
The historical results were massive: tyrants toppled, governments overthrown, occupying armies impeded, and political systems shattered. Entire societies were transformed, suddenly or gradually, as nonviolent resistance destroyed the repressor's ability to control events.
The story begins in 1907 with a young Mohandas Gandhi, the most influential leader in the history of civil resistance, as he rouses fellow Indians in South Africa to a nonviolent struggle against racial oppression. The series recounts Gandhi's civil disobedience campaign against the British in India; the sit-ins and boycotts that desegregated downtown Nashville, Tennessee; the nonviolent campaign against apartheid in South Africa; Danish resistance to the Nazis in World War II; the rise of Solidarity in Poland; and the momentous victory for democracy in Chile. A Force More Powerful also introduces several extraordinary, but largely unknown, individuals who drove these great events forward.
The greatest misconception about conflict is that violence is the ultimate form of power; but in conflict after conflict throughout the 20th century, people have proven otherwise. At a time when violence is still too often deployed, A Force More Powerful dramatizes how ordinary people throughout the world, working against all kinds of opponents, have taken up nonviolent weapons and prevailed.
Originally released as a feature-length film that played in festivals worldwide, A Force More Powerful was expanded into a 3-hour television series which aired nationally on PBS in 2000, and has since been seen around the world.