Let’s Watch This Antiwar Sylvester Stallone Film

By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, September 19, 2023

I confess to not having been aware that Sylvester Stallone had been in a movie in which all wasn’t solved by punching somebody, stabbing somebody, shooting somebody, or blowing somebody up.

Times change, apparently.

Stallone’s first serious movie was made in 1973 and set in 1969. The director, Robert Schnitzer, has now created a Director’s Cut version to show in theaters, beginning with the Lumiere Cinema in Los Angeles at 9 p.m. on October 7th. The screening will be a fundraiser for World BEYOND War, which will have a speaker and a table there. The director will be there to answer questions. Plus there will be free coffee, tea, and desserts.

On the same day that a giant peace rally is planned in Rome, Italy, if you happen to be in Los Angeles, California, why not go and watch the Italian Stallion in a different sort of role? If you’re young enough or have avoided enough movies or have the right sort of imagination, perhaps you can watch this terrific film without Rocky or Rambo coming to mind at all. That has to be how the film’s first viewers saw it. But I think perhaps it’s better with the stories of Rocky and Rambo coming to mind and redefining themselves in your mind as fairly silly fantasies in which violence doesn’t do what it does in the real world.

This movie is now from a different era — both of it and about it — but it is not old, not in the sense of being slowly paced or predictable or simplistic or familiar. It’s a story about a nation at war, about activists, about non-activists, and about the complexities of disagreements among activists and among members of government. Divergent tendencies and questionable motivations lead to surprising revelations.

The line that struck me as most wise in the film came from Stallone’s character: “A revolution needs people.” This sums up the case for openness, honesty, and mass-movement building, all of which accompany nonviolent, but not violent, action.

We need more people in a nonviolent revolution to abolish war, and we can use events like this one — and hopefully many more in other cities — to find them.

Please spread the word to make opening night a big success.

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