The Movement and the “Madman” will be the first feature documentary to chronicle the untold story of the mass movement that helped limit and end the long and brutal war in Vietnam, proving that nonviolent protest movements can make a difference.
To highlight the antiwar movement’s impact, the film will focus on one of the most dramatic and consequential showdowns in American history between a protest movement and a president.
In the fall of 1969 a series of demonstrations the CIA predicted would be “the most widely-supported in American history” undermined President Nixon’s secret, self-described “Madman” plans for a dangerous escalation of the Vietnam war, including the use of nuclear weapons.
It’s a David and Goliath tale that pits a sprawling, often divided and discouraged popular movement against a devious and increasingly desperate president. With some activists trending towards violence, the film will show how the movement reinvented itself to more effectively and nonviolently challenge the president, including gaining the active support of civil rights leaders.
Spotlighting the grassroots October 15th “Moratorium” — an unprecedented nationwide strike with two million participants — followed by the dramatic “March Against Death” one month later, and the massive November 15th “Mobilization” rally in Washington, D.C., the film will reveal how these protests were organized and undermined Nixon’s secret plans to launch a “savage, decisive blow” against North Vietnam.
Though their momentous impact was not known until decades later, these actions helped save countless lives. As Daniel Ellsberg says, “I believe we would have had the first nuclear attacks since Nagasaki had it not been for the October 15th and November 15th demonstrations and rallies in 1969.”
Told as a “political thriller”, The Movement and the “Madman will engage viewers in an immersive, “you are there” experience with first-person, eyewitness accounts of movement leaders and Nixon insiders, illustrated with rich, dynamic archival footage.
More info and preview videos at movementandthemadman.com