Judge Adam Arseneau dreams of frozen peas.
"No treaty of peace shall be held valid in which there is tacitly reserved matter for a future war."—Immanuel Kant
An esoteric educational exercise, Perpetual Peace is not a movie, but a loose sequence of vignettes organized around Immanuel Kant's 1795 foundational essay Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch. If that sounds like a humdinger of a DVD, then you've come to the right review, my friends.
"Peace" is an ill-defined word in this modern era, with politicians, policymakers, and philosophers alike disagreeing as to its use. The priorities of the 21st century international community are scattered and discordant. Perpetual Peace, created from the Perpetual Peace Project, brings together various communities and disciplines to focus on the reduction of geopolitical conflict.
• "Defining Peace"
So, yeah. With a runtime of 54 minutes and a MSRP of $30, you've got to really have a raging hard-on for Eighteenth-century German philosophers to throw down for a copy of Perpetual Peace. Talking heads from various fields of academia and government debate and discourse the potential of a true perpetual peace, exploring Kant's notion of a democratic peace theory and multilateral institutions to oversee it.
Interesting? Sure. It might fly a bit over your head at first, but if you dig into the theory (Googling Kant's original essay certainly helps), Perpetual Peace is a unique, academic exploration into the merits of an idealistic legacy; a true peace the world has never known, yet seems so simple in concept. From an entertainment standpoint, this is as riveting as a university lecturer droning on at an auditorium full of sleepy, hungover students still reeling from last night's bender. Peace seems like a simple concept on the surface, but even a cursory glance at the Wikipedia article on "Democratic Peace Theory" is enough to send grown men into screaming fits of intellectual ineptitude.
Presentation-wise, the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby 2.0 stereo are…honestly, it's not even worth getting into a technical review here. You put the DVD in, and you listen to the people talk in front of a static camera, and then it ends.
If you yearn endlessly for an hourlong video of leading philosophers, United Nation Council members, sociologists, and institution heads debate the merits of true democratic peace, then Perpetual Peace is right up your alley. Do such people even exist? Well, just like the theory of perpetual peace itself, their existence is a very idealistic notion.
A fascinating and unprofitable DVD.
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