Private Project

Making Waves: Rebirth of the Golden Rule

In 1958, four Quaker peace activists set sail for the Marshall Islands--the US nuclear testing zone--to alert the world to the devastating effects of the bomb on people and the environment. When the crew was arrested and jailed in Hawaii, public outcry for their release sparked a movement that led to the signing of the Limited Test Ban Treaty in 1963. Sixty years later, Veterans for Peace has restored this historic wooden boat and embarked on a global mission to end the arms race. Shot on board the Golden Rule during a protest of the Navy's Air and Sea show in San Diego Bay, the film features interviews of veterans whose stories illuminate the true costs of warfare.

  • James Knight
    Director
    Holy Week: The Story of the 2016 Sacred Peace Walk; Walking the Walk: A March Against Drone Warfare; Kind, True, and Necessary; Ballad of Fire;
  • Wendy Rogan
    Producer
  • James Knight
    Camera
    Holy Week: The Story of the 2016 Sacred Peace Walk; Walking the Walk: A March Against Drone Warfare; Kind, True, and Necessary; Ballad of Fire;
  • Victor Toledo
    Camera
  • James Knight
    Sound Mixing and Design
    Holy Week: The Story of the 2016 Sacred Peace Walk; Walking the Walk: A March Against Drone Warfare; Kind, True, and Necessary; Ballad of Fire;
  • James Knight
    Editor
    Holy Week: The Story of the 2016 Sacred Peace Walk; Walking the Walk: A March Against Drone Warfare; Kind, True, and Necessary; Ballad of Fire;
  • Frank Pahl
    Original Score
    Back From Beyond, The Cowboy Disciple, Loose Threads, Music for Desserts,
  • Film Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    nuclear weapons, peace movement, veterans, environment, history, activism
  • Runtime:
    24 minutes 39 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 14, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Veterans for Peace Golden Rule Gala
    Newport Beach
    February 25, 2018
    World Premiere
  • Global Impact Film Festival
    Washington, DC
    United States
    August 25, 2018
    East Coast Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Awareness Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    October 2, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Guam International Film Festival
    Hagatna
    Guam
    October 7, 2018
    Asia Pacific premiere
    Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Short
  • Santa Cruz Film Festival
    Santa Cruz
    United States
    October 7, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Social Justice Film Festival
    Seattle
    United States
    October 13, 2018
    Pacific Northwest premiere
    Official Selection
  • Friday Harbor Film Festival
    Friday Harbor
    United States
    October 25, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Borrego Springs Film Festival
    Borrego Springs, CA
    United States
    January 19, 2019
  • Australian Wooden Boat Film Festival
    Hobart, Tasmania
    Australia
    February 8, 2019
    International premiere
  • Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival
    Flagstaff, AZ
    United States
  • Global Peace Online Film Festival
    Winter Park, FL
    United States
    September 16, 2018
  • Oneota Film Festival
    Decorah, IA
    United States
    March 7, 2019
  • Sierra Nevada Film Festival
    Murphys, CA
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Georgia Documentary Film Festival
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    June 1, 2019
    Southern USA premiere
    Official Selection
  • Oakland International Film Festival
    Oakland, CA
    United States
    September 24, 2019
Director Biography - James Knight

James Knight, a native of Detroit, came to Los Angeles in 1981 to realize his dream of working on feature films. After five years of editing B-grade horror films he left the business to walk across the country in 1986. This experience led him to seek more meaningful work in documentaries.

Since this time he has cut several award winning documentaries, including Cathy Zheutlin's JUST ONE STEP (first prize, Anthropos Film Festival), Nick Clark's WE ARE A RIVER FLOWING for Minnesota Public Television and THE SPIRIT OF PEACE: THE STORY OF PEACE PILGRIM. In addition he has edited numerous educational series for PBS including EARTH REVEALED and CROSSROADS CAFE.

Between editing work Knight has established himself as a creator of avante-garde videos, screening (among many other places) at the Edinburgh Fringe Film Festival, on the 90's Network and at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibition (LACE). His work in this field has been mythic and abstract, providing an aesthetic contrast to the straight-forward story-telling of his documentary cutting.

In 1991 the events chronicled in BALLAD OF FIRE would catapult Knight into combining his varied skills to capture a story as bizarre as any fiction and as dramatic as the best true crime story. The resulting documentary was premiered by the prestigious American Cinemateque in Los Angeles in 1997. It went on to screen at many festivals around the world including the Edinburgh Film Festival from which it was selected for a “Best of the Fest” screening in London.

Recent films KIND, TRUE, and NECESSARY, WALKING THE WALK, and HOLY WEEK: THE STORY OF THE 2016 SACRED PEACE WALK highlight the work of peace activists.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

After four decades of peace activism one thing has really stood out for me: the participation, voice and leadership of war veterans in the peace movement, always bringing new depth to peace actions and opening hearts that may otherwise have been closed. There is authority in their ideas and memories that cannot be easily dismissed.

For this reason, when I was approached by producer Wendy Rogan with the possibility of making a film for Veterans for Peace I jumped at the chance. Not only had I marched many miles beside the Veterans for Peace flag but their new project, the restoration and launching of an historic peace sailboat was a fascinating one, full of visual and dramatic potential. The Golden Rule had sailed to the Marshall Islands in 1958, the year I was born, an early and risky attempt to draw the world's attention to nuclear testing and the nuclear arms race. The subsequent sinking of the vessel and resurrection by Veterans for Peace for a new and equally exciting mission was a story I wanted to tell.

Spending a few days on the sailboat, protesting the annual San Diego air and sea war show, gave me an opportunity to meet several veterans and collect some of those stories that have broken my heart and inspired me all these years. Hopefully those stories serve to communicate how appropriate it is that this ship of peace is piloted by the former military of the United States.

It is an exciting time for anti-nuclear activism. The passing of last year’s Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty in the United Nations has taken the world to a new level of intolerance for the threat those weapons pose to the world. How the nuclear countries respond to that ban will in many ways be up to us, to the commitment and consistency we bring to our protest.