How can an open society balance demands for security with democracy? Based on the findings of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, State of Fear follows events in Peru, yet serves as a cautionary tale for a nation like the United States. Filmmakers Pamela Yates, Peter Kinoy, and Paco de Onis masterfully blend personal testimony, history and archival footage to tell the story of escalating violence in the Andean nation and how the fear of terror undermined their democracy, making Peru a virtual dictatorship where official corruption replaced the rule of law. Terrorist attacks by Shining Path insurgents provoked a military occupation of the countryside. Military justice replaced civil authority, widespread abuses by the Peruvian Army went unpunished, and the terrorism continued to spread. Nearly 70,000 civilians eventually died at the hands of Shining Path and the Peruvian military.
State of Fear is a brilliant and moving film, which is both a portrait of Peru and a chronicle of terror and response - fanaticism, bravery, heroism, abject fear and the way everyone is affected by such events. It is what Orwell called the aim of great art, which was both imaginative in craftsmanship and politically committed at its heart.
...an expert blend of original interviews with various individuals from both sides, rare video footage, and dubious government news reports which would be laughable if they were not ultimately responsible for creating so much pain and distrust. A disturbing and harrowing film, this is highly recommended.
State of Fear is a masterpiece.
Cynthia McClintock, Professor of Political Science, George Washington University
...remarkably fair, coherent and well documented. On Peru at this point it's the gold standard; it has no peer.
Alexander Wilde, Chair, Board of Directors, Washington Office on Latin America
State of Fear is a must-see film for educators and activists working in the field of international human rights and Latin American studies.
Juan E. M?ndez, President, International Center for Transitional Justice and United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide
Resource Web Sites
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) overview of the Peruvian Truth & Reconciliation Commission
Valuable information and insights on the work of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
International Center for Transitional Justice report on Peru's Truth Commission
The International Center for Transitional Justice served as consultants to the Peruvian Truth & Reconciliation Commission, and helped design the Reparations Plan that was approved by the Peru's Congress in 2005.
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