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The Secret of the 5 Powers - A documentary about nonviolent heroes
an article by Iulia Socea

Video: three nonviolent heroes

The Secret of the 5 Powers tells the true stories of three remarkably courageous individuals whose nonviolent action inspired Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and millions of others around the world. The documentary weaves comic book animation with contemporary and historic footage that follows the lives of Alfred Hassler, an American anti-war hero, Vietnamese peace activist Sister Chan Khong and Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, whom Dr. King nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. By cultivating the sacred 5 Powers of Faith, Diligence, Mindfulness, Concentration, and Insight, they combatted violence and destruction, planting seeds of peace in the mud of war.

click on photo to enlarge

The film provides a rare glimpse into the lives of individuals who continue to have a tremendous impact on the world. Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong are among today’s most respected spiritual leaders, but little is known about their early struggles and the paths that led them to take nonviolent action. Alfred Hassler’s memory is treasured by those who knew and loved him; but his story has previously never been told. Also largely unknown is the connection between our three protagonists and many of the world’s foremost voices for peace and how their cooperation continues to affect change that transcends geographical borders, religion and time.

The film points to the fact that nonviolent movements are not outside of the realm of violence, nor out of touch with reality, but are situated beyond violence, giving practitioners a more powerful tool than arms and weaponry.

As the film tells a story of the seemingly unstoppable escalation of violence, it simultaneously redefines a traditional dramatic structure: there is no good or bad, no white or black. There is only compassion and suffering. The realization of this ultimate truth has the power to unite us-- each with the other and with all who have fought for peace. The story ends with a call to action, an invitation to the viewer to become a hero in his or her own life.

For more information about this film and the team, please visit http://ww and http://www.peacecomic


Question(s) related to this article:

Understanding the culture of peace, What are the key videos?

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Latest reader comment:

To begin this discussion, here are videos from three people who first developed the culture of peace concept at UNESCO and the United Nations:

Anwarul Chowdhury: Culture of Peace

David Adams: Culture of Peace

Federico Mayor: Culture of Peace

Federico Mayor: Cultura de Paz

This report was posted on February 13, 2013.