We are fortunate to have within our congregations a number of folk who are engaged in wider issues as a means of increasing the impact of the Christian Gospel on the world in which we live. One such lady asked if we could screen this film at our regular monthly gathering and I was happy to oblige. We drew a crowd of over 70.
Based on Andrew Feinstein's book of the same name, the film is a chilling documentary that catalogues how the relationships between governments, arms dealers, arms manufacturers and customers are completely incestuous. Within this area of world trade, a complete sub-culture exists and has its own economy as tax pounds and dollars are frittered away in backhanders and subsidies to sell arms and munitions - many times to countries that can ill afford them or pay for their upkeep and maintenance. Too often poorer developing countries buy weapons platforms that they do have the expertise to use or likely contexts in which to deploy them. They certainly cannot afford the 'consumable' munitions these platforms deliver! Meanwhile, middle men and former government ministers grow fat on the profits.
We were excited and privileged to welcome Andrew Feinstein to present the film and to talk about it answering questions afterwards. If you want to book a screening of the film (which is not yet commercially available) get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org. The organisation Campaign Against Arms Trade have a host of other resources and events if you are interested.
Watching this film may leave you thinking 'what can I do'? On your own, your options may seem limited. You can campaign, march, rally, write to your MP and local Council. You can review your bank's involvements in the arms trade and maybe move bank - although it's difficult to find one that is 'clean' in this sense. You can review any investments you hold, or your pension fund provider holds and ask for them to be transferred away from the arms trade. There are lots of things you can do - see caat.org.uk
In times which seem to encourage endless hopelessness, let us remember in whom our hope is placed:
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people:
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruninghooks:
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
This is a well made film that hits hard. Spread the word and arrange a screening. I'll give it 8/10.