- Discussion Guide
WAGING PEACE: The Peace Corps Experience weaves personal letters, journals, emails and blogs written while Volunteers were serving overseas with the stories of four returned Volunteers whose experiences shaped the rest of their lives.
Filmmaker Allen Mondell was a Peace Corps teacher in Sierra Leone. He’s been a professional filmmaker for 45 years.
If Sargent Shriver, the founding director of the Peace Corps, were here to see this film his heart would leap up and want the world to see it. He intended the Peace Corps to be seen as — and the Volunteers to see themselves as — waging peace. The different stories Allen Mondell brings to life in this extraordinary film, shows that the Peace Corps is a case of e pluribus unum: out of more than 200,000 experiences around the globe there is one Corps that in a fundamental way is indeed waging peace.
Harris Wofford, former U.S. Senator and Associate Director of the Peace Corps
. . . a moving tribute to the Peace Corps experience. The documentary captures the commitment of Peace Corps volunteers young and old and the welcoming reception they have received from those whom they have travelled to assist. No one can watch this film and the associated interviews without feeling the optimism that the Peace Corps projects around the world.
Paul W. Ludden, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, SMU
. . . an eye opening, attention getting portrayal of the life long influence of the Peace Corps experience not only on those served but on those who serve. Watching it, one can’t help but be moved by example after example of how each of us can indeed make a positive difference in the lives of the rest of us.
Rick Carson, Family Therapist and author of Taming Your Gremlin
I am currently in my application process with Peace Corps, and hearing the stories tonight further cemented my desire to serve abroad, waging peace and development. Danielle Dial, Dallas
Allen’s piece has touched my heart, memories, and gratitude deeply.
John Gray, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer(RPCV)
“Waging Peace” is a film for the ages. To every student at every college or university in the United States I commend “Waging Peace” as a glimpse into a life that creates meaning. Bill Anderson, Emerson College Professor & RPCV
You captured the look and feel of the Peace Corps experience while making it apply to everyone by following several RPCVs as they continue serving after their PC tenure. You didn’t hold back with language, dog eating, bathroom customs, etc. I appreciate your not candy-coating what most of us found extremely trying experiences. I believe your film will not only inspire young and old to give Peace Corps a try, but it will encourage those viewing it to find ways to serve their fellowman. I would recommend this documentary for any middle or high school promoting positive character traits.
Joel Robbins, Teacher, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and Author
Thank you for the inspiration. Loved the work you did. Beautiful job.
Niki McCuistion, TV Producer
It was a great night with a huge challenge for Allen. How do you tell 50 years of stories in a limited amount of time. But he did. From JFK and the ink pen signing the Peace Corps into law to Lillian Carter breaking the room up with her story from India, it was hysterical and profoundly moving. You can’t change the world, but you can change you.
Carl Youngberg, RPCV
Bravo, Allen, on “Waging Peace.” My husband and I attended the showing last night and we had a very fun and interesting chat afterwards! Thank you for provoking needed thought about becoming more and more involved in the good of the world! Bravo and best of luck with this project!
Stacy (Meier) Olds, Writer
It has well captured the Kennedy spirit of the times. Your interview with John Coyne set the tone and should have, perhaps, led off the film. Our vignettes as volunteers speak a thousand words for all of us in the Third World countries. I will try to promote the film in the two colleges I work with and let you know of my progress. Thanks for sending it on to me.
Don Yates, RPCV
Last week I saw a screening of Allen Mondell’s latest film about the Peace Corps and how it has transformed many lives. The film is powerful and moving, with lots of great stories.
Bart Weiss, Video Assocation of Dallas Director
This is an awesome documentary that will inspire college students to service in immediate projects as well as future projects. As I watched this film, I felt moved to become more engaged in my own community to assist in service efforts to improve the well-being of others. The college community is more than school spirit; this film will inspire one to do more than cheer from the sidelines and get students into a meaningful game of life.
Doug Van Nostran, College Grants Administrator
This is an excellent documentary. Not only does the major part of the video show a range of reactions to the Peace Corps experience from volunteers all across the globe, but the interview with the Peace Corps historian was very informative. The third portion of the video was a panel that included the author Paul Theroux who had a number of incisive comments on his PC experience and on the Peace Corps in general. The other two panelists added worthwhile commentary as well. The documentary gives you multiple layers of thought-provoking analysis and puts one’s own participation in the Peace Corps into clearer focus. It’s not to be missed !!!
Deborah Williams Brooks, RPCV
Wow! What an outstanding job. You certainly reached the heart of what it means to be part of the “army waging peace”. It expressed beautifully how different and yet how much the same that experience is/was for all of us.
Pat Lowther, RPCV
I met Allen Mondell years ago when he was first considering making a film about the Peace Corps experience. During that time, I have watched as Waging Peace evolved from a simple idea to a dynamic and compelling documentary about individuals committed to service. Waging Peace captures the dedication, creativity, and passion of a diverse group of volunteers; it is a film that will motivate and inspire anyone who has the chance to see it. Paula Selzer, RPCV