Over 70 years ago, Costa Rica became one of the only nations in the world to disband their military and to redirect national resources towards education, health, and the environment. Since then, Costa Rica has earned the number one spot in the Happy Planet Index, a ranking of countries based on measures of environmental protection and the happiness and health of its citizens. And the World Database of Happiness, with data on 149 nations compiled by a Dutch sociologist, lists Costa Rica as number one in self-reported happiness and number one in happy life years.
A Bold Peace juxtaposes the national policy of demilitarization (since 1948-49) with their investment in education, health, and the environment. Pointed parallels and contrasts are made with recent U.S. debates over the national debt, healthcare, the environment and the escalating cost of U.S. militarism. The film features former presidents, Costa Rican government officials, as well as scholars, journalists and citizens of Costa Rica.
Michael Dreiling is Department Head and Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon where he specializes in political and environmental sociology. He is author of two books, numerous research articles, and is presently working on two books and a documentary film series. With Matthew Eddy, Michael produced and co-directed the award-winning feature documentary on Costa Rica’s happy, healthy and demilitarized social democratic society – A Bold Peace, available at Bullfrog Films. Over 70 years ago, Costa Rica became one of the only nations in the world to disband their military and to redirect national resources towards education, health, and the environment. The film has won over a dozen awards at over 200 theatrical screenings on four continents. It is now available in three languages and distributed internationally. Our first major broadcast contract is with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, scheduled for cable broadcast in Canada in late 2019. In May-June 2019, he began filming in Japan for the second feature film in a documentary film series examining comparative paths to peace, disarmament and democracy.
JULIAN D. MUNOZ
Julian Munoz has maintained an evangelistic attitude to all things “Costa Rica” for all of his life. Born to Costa Rican parents and with family heritage dating back over two hundred years in the country, he has dedicated himself to many and varied causes and endeavors supporting Costa Rica. He served as a diplomat for the country in San Francisco, appointed by Dr. Oscar Arias, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate during his first presidential term. He has remained a colleague of Dr. Arias since the mid-1980’s and is the US representative for the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Rights. As a UC Berkeley graduate, Julian also served as president of a local architecture and planning firm and later was co-founder of a software technology company with offices worldwide. For Costa Rica, he is also an Olympic Athlete, having represented the country in Alpine Skiing at the 1988 Calgary and 1992 Albertville Olympic Games.
Stephen Olsson returns as our series host. Stephen has produced and directed award-winning documentary films and television series throughout the world for US and European broadcasters, including the BBC, PBS (Frontline, POV, Nova), CNN, Arte, Canal+ and National Geographic. He has worked with diverse personalities including HH.the Dalai Lama, Walter Cronkite, Noam Chomsky, Ben Kingsley, John Cleese, Carlos Santana, Harry Belafonte, Sean Penn, Willy Nelson and others. His films have premiered at Sundance, Tribeca, The Lincoln Center, Mill Valley and at film festivals worldwide and have received the National Emmy Award for Outstanding Director, the Du-Pont Columbia Award and the George Foster Peabody Award. Stephen is president of the Sausalito-based non-profit media group Cultural & Educational Media CEMproductions.org and has recently released Season Two of CEM’s Global Spirit series on PBS stations nation-wide. (www.GlobalSpirit.tv)