World BEYOND War Presents the David Hartsough Individual Lifetime War Abolisher of 2023 Award to David Bradbury

By World BEYOND War, August 28, 2023

Thank you to Pressenza, also for this. Thank you to Environmentalists Against War. And to Sydney Criminal Lawyers.

Thank you also to Junge Welt. And to Pearls and Irritations. And to the Aim Networkalso here, and here, and here, and here.

World BEYOND War is thrilled to present the 2023 David Hartsough Individual Lifetime War Abolisher Award to Australian filmmaker David Bradbury.

The presentation video is here.

A brand new 27-minute film by Bradbury, accepting the award and including clips from some of his many films, is here.

David Bradbury is the creator of 28 documentary films that advance our understanding of war, peace, international relations, and peace activism. Bradbury’s films have been broadcast around the world on the BBC, PBS, ZDF (Germany),and  TF1-France, as well as ABC, SBS, and commercial television networks in Australia.

Bradbury worked as a journalist at ABC, covering the Spring Revolution in Portugal and the overthrow of the Greek military junta in Athens, prior to making the first of his powerful films in which individuals confront war, uprising, injustice, and exploitation – as well as the aftermath of war and the impacts of the war industry, including the destruction wrought by weapons development and testing.

Bradbury’s groundbreaking 1979 film, Frontline, told the story of Neil Davis, an Australian war cinematographer and correspondent who covered the Vietnam war for 11 years. Bradbury’s Public Enemy Number One (1981) told the story of another journalist, Wilfred Burchett, the first Westerner to report on the impacts of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima.

Acting on the advice of Graham Greene, Bradbury traveled to Central America in 1983 and stumbled onto the CIA’s secret war arming the Contras, resulting in the film Nicaragua No Pasaran (1984). Having fallen in love with Central and South American grassroots movements for social justice, Bradbury smuggled himself and his film crew into Pinochet’s Chile, where they filmed Chile Hasta Cuando? (1985). Bradbury’s South of the Border (1986) was inspired by the grassroots music of peasants and workers desperate to break free of their oppressive imperial master to the North, the U.S. government.

Back in Australia in 1988, Bradbury filmed State of Shock, a film about an Aborigenese family removed from their home at gunpoint, their home burned in front of them, and themselves shipped off to a “native reserve” so that a mining company could access bauxite.

Later came A Hard Rain (2007), an exploration of the impact of depleted uranium (DU) in the Gulf war of 1990-1991. The local effects of DU at Shoalwater Bay naval training facility were the focus of Bradbury’s films Shoalwater: Up for Grabs and Blowin’ in the Wind.

In The Crater (2015), Bradbury returned to Vietnam, following Australian conscript Brian Cleaver’s redemptive journey to locate the missing bodies of 42 enemy soldiers whom Cleaver’s company had killed in one night during the war.

Bradbury shoots his own footage, traveling widely, and seeking out people with uncomfortable truths to tell – sometimes at great risk. Bradbury has filmed in Iran during the final days of the Shah, in Nicaragua during the CIA-Contra war, and in El Salvador during the days of death squads during the early 1980s. His film on Pinochet’s Chile, Chile Hasta Quando? (1985) was nominated for an Academy Award. He has filmed independence struggles in East Timor and West Papua, and in India, China, and Nepal.

In Bradbury’s latest documentary The Road to War (2023) Australian experts deplore the Albanese Government’s commitment of hundreds of billions of dollars to new weaponry, nuclear propelled submarines, stealth bombers, and missiles, all aimed at China. The film shows why it is not in Australia’s, or the world’s, interests to be dragged into another U.S.-led war. This film draws on Bradbury’s decades of experience and footage to highlight each argument with the record from history: of each U.S. war that Australia has joined in before, of each U.S. ally that the U.S. has sacrificed before, of what U.S. bombers now being given access to Australia have done to their victims before. The film even includes footage of another 2023 War Abolisher award winner, Wage Peace Australia, among others speaking truth to power. While Australians were told the war on Vietnam was to prevent the Vietnamese from attacking Australia, the Vietnamese, after winning the war, have still never shown any sign of wanting to invade Australia. Neither has Australia’s top trading partner, China. And yet the push for war with China recycles familiar propaganda, and we desperately need independent films like The Road to War to counter it.

David Bradbury’s films have received prizes at many international festivals, as well as five Australian Film Industry awards, and two Academy Award nominations. The films include:

1979: Frontline
1981: Public Enemy Number One
1984: Nicaragua No Pasaran
1985: Chile Hasta Cuando?
1986: South of the Border
1988: State of Shock
1990: Polska
1992: Shoalwater Up for Grabs
1993: Nazi Supergrass
1996: The Battle for Byron
1997: Loggerheads
1997: Jabiluka
1999: The Battle for Byron 2
2000: Wmsley’s War
2002: Fond Memories of Cuba
2005: Blowin’ in the Wind
2006: Raul The Terrible
2007: A Hard Rain
2007: All that Glitters is Not Gold
2007: Survival School
2009: My Asian Heart
2010: When the Dust Settles
2012: On Borrowed Time
2015: The Crater
2016: War on Trial
2018: America & Me
2019: The Act of No Choice
2023: The Road to War

Since 2007, Bradbury has worked closely with film producer and peace activist Treena Lenthall, who had engaged in ploughshares protests since the 1990s. In 2005 and 2007, Lenthall was one of the main organizers for the nonviolent actions against the U.S. and Australian military rehearsals for war at Shoalwater Bay and Rockhampton, in Central Queensland. It was there that Bradbury and Lenthall met and formed a lasting relationship. Lenthall has worked with Bradbury on the films since then.

The making of his second film, Public Enemy Number One, which involved traveling with Wilfred Burchett back to Hiroshima in 1981, had a major impact on Bradbury, who recalls:

“Wilfred was the first western journalist to reach Hiroshima just weeks after the world’s first A-bomb was dropped. He took an incredible risk in making that journey to find out and report to the world what ‘that new Bomb’ was all about. He was devastated when he got to Hiroshima. The horror and magnitude of what splitting the atom could do. And that the Americans knowingly dropped not one but TWO bombs on non military targets. Most of those civilians were instantly burnt alive, vaporised.  Those who survived went on to live very painful lives from the radiation fallout leading to cancer and their premature deaths.”

Bradbury’s films can be viewed at

War Abolisher awardees are honored for their body of work directly supporting one or more of the three segments of World BEYOND War’s strategy for reducing and eliminating war as outlined in the book A Global Security System, An Alternative to War. They are: Demilitarizing Security, Managing Conflict Without Violence, and Building a Culture of Peace.

The David Hartsough Individual Lifetime War Abolisher award is named for David Hartsough, cofounder of World BEYOND War. Executive Director of PeaceWorkers and Co-Founder of the Non-Violent Peaceforce, Hartsough has also worked for peace as an author and film-maker. The Individual Lifetime War Abolisher award to an individual or organization is not made every year. In 2023 it appropriately recognizes more than four decades of wide-ranging work by another documentary-film-maker.

World BEYOND War is a global nonviolent movement, founded in 2014, to end war and establish a just and sustainable peace. The purpose of the awards is to honor and encourage support for those working to abolish the institution of war itself. With the Nobel Peace Prize and other nominally peace-focused institutions so frequently honoring other good causes or, in fact, wagers of war, World BEYOND War intends its awards to go to educators or activists intentionally and effectively advancing the cause of war abolition, accomplishing reductions in war-making, war preparations, or war culture. World BEYOND War received hundreds of impressive nominations. The World BEYOND War Board, with assistance from its Advisory Board, made the selections.

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