BRIEF SYNOPSIS: 9 Pieces of Peace tells the story of a Vietnam veteran named Dan Gallagher and his transformative journey from feeling despised by peace activists to being celebrated as Jeannette Rankin Peace Center’s 2012 Peacemaker of the Year.
In his search to find common ground, he develops an unexpected friendship with Betsy Mulligan-Dague, the Executive Director of the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center in Missoula, Montana. Given the history and conflict between peace activists and veterans, Dan’s unlikely friendship with Betsy touches on the subjects of compassion, courage and inspirational leadership. Together, they have begun to create bridges where walls have stood for decades.
Dan’s life also becomes intertwined with an extraordinary story about how the Missoula community reacted to a 30-foot-high graffiti peace symbol, which was painted on a Qwest telecommunications panel overlooking the valley. It unintentionally became a controversial public conversation about the subjective meanings of the peace symbol among veterans, peace activists and others within the community. The sign was both hated and revered for decades, serving as a metaphor for the conflict resolution process between peace advocates and veterans, and in general, the conflict resolution process on a larger scale.
As these two stories cross paths, we observe and learn from the universal challenges experienced by individuals and communities in their struggles to find common ground.
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BIO: Jan Selby is a multiple regional EMMY© award-winning producer, director, and founder of Quiet Island Films, a full-service video production company. Her first film as director/producer, A Circle and Three Lines (2009), followed the 50-year history of the peace symbol. It screened at film festivals worldwide, broadcasted on public television, was included in the Walker Art Center’s video bay, and won a regional EMMY©. She produced FRITZ: The Walter Mondale Story, which was broadcast on public television, and screened at locations nationwide. 9 Pieces of Peace is a documentary film and community engagement project that will inspire dialogue about what it means to find common ground. Jan also creates videos for creative agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations.