A short documentary that takes a look at the lives of the Grady family and their fight for nuclear disarmament, this is Hammers of Peace by Samu Gabor.
Whilst many will agree with the statement that war is wrong, there aren’t many who will stand up and take action against those that want to harm other countries. The Grady family doesn’t fall into that demographic. They have continued to protest for forty years in order to be heard and to try and stop the atrocities being forged by their own government.
We get to meet Ellen Grady, who lets us see a little of her history. Her grandparents were of Irish descent, and her father was a lecturer at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. Instead of going to college herself, she decided to try and help the Plowshares Movement. For those that don’t know what that is, it’s an anti-nuclear weapons and Christian pacifist movement. The movement made the headlines in 1980 when eight people were arrested after they trespassed onto the General Electric Re-entry division where Minutemen III missiles were made. They, the eight members of the Plowshares Movement poured blood onto documents and hammered on re-entry vehicles. The incident was actually the bass for the movie In The King Of Prussia, starring Martin Sheen.
We also learn how Ellen met her future husband Peter De Mott at a rally and how they were married just two years later. There is an interesting story, shown via a clip from the 2006 documentary feature ‘The Trial of The St. Patrick’s Four” of De Mott breaking into a shipyard where they were building a new nuclear submarine called the USS Baltimore. There, he locked himself inside a van and used the vehicle as a battering ram to try and destroy the submarine’s rudder. He found himself in prison for a year for that incident.
In 2002, Ellen gave birth to Saoirse Grady. Through a rather moving interview, we get to see how Saoirse grew up in a family where protesting weekly was the norm. She then tells the story of how her father, Peter, died an untimely death. Even though she was just six when it happened, you can feel how the incident still affects her now as a young woman.
Director Samu Gabor wisely keeps the proceedings interesting with his usage of talking-head interviews, spliced with photographs and footage of old newsreels, whilst an emotional piano score plays in the background.
Whilst Hammers of Peace is only a short documentary, coming in at just over fifteen minutes in length, it is a very well-made piece that is able to stir emotions and move you. Hell, it may even spur you on to stand up and be counted too, which would be an incredible achievement.
If you would like to watch Hammers of Peace yourself, it is now available on IndiePix on Amazon. Click here to watch.