Adolfo Perez Esquivel: Rivers of Hope

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Adolfo Perez Esquivel: Rivers of Hope
Directed byDawn Gifford Engle
Produced byJacque Gellein
Rip Gellein
Elizabeth Parmly Weber
Ivan Suvanjieff (executive producer)
Written byDawn Gifford Engle
StarringAdolfo Perez Esquivel
Music byAmanda Guerreño
CinematographyElizabeth Holloway
Dave Wruck
Edited byElizabeth Holloway
Distributed byR-Squared Films (2015, Worldwide, video)
Release date
  • June 14, 2015 (2015-06-14)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States

Adolfo Perez Esquivel: Rivers of Hope is a 2015 American documentary film produced by The PeaceJam Foundation about the life of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel.[1][2][3] The film focuses on the historical analysis of the 80-year period of Argentinian turmoil dating from Esquivel's birth in 1931 to 2014.[4][5]


Nobel Peace Laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, the subject of the film.

Nobel Peace Laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel grew up during one of the most unstable time periods in Argentinian history. He lived his early life as an artist and an activist. In 1974 he devoted his time to building nonviolent movements for change in Latin America, a left-wing peace organization. That same year, he was named secretary-general of the newly formed Servicio Paz y Justicia (Peace and Justice Service or SERPAJ) a group that coordinates nonviolent movements in the region. Esquivel regularly traveled the world both for his art and for his peace work.

In 1977 while attempting to renew his passport, Esquivel was arrested and held captive without trial for 14 months during the Argentine Dirty War. The Argentinian Dirty War was a name used by the Argentine Military Government for a period of state sponsored terrorism that took place from 1974 to 1983, in which the right-wing government hunted down and killed left-wing dissidents.[6][7] During this time period, an estimated 30,000 people disappeared.[8]

Throughout the film the audience is shown archival footage and first hand accounts by Esquivel about the Dirty War Prison system. In one scene a reporter interviews one of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo during the Argentine 1978 FIFA World Cup. The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo are a group of mothers whom walk around the outside of the Argentine capital in the thousands, asking to know where all their sons and daughters have gone. As one of the disappeared, Esquivel was imprisoned without trial. He was tortured regularly, and feared for his life every day.[9]

In 1978, Esquivel was named Amnesty International's Political Prisoner of the Year resulting in thousands of letters from the international community demanding his release. Due to the Global outcry, the Argentinian government was forced to release him in 1978. After his release he continued to work for SERPAJ.[10]



  1. ^ "Adolfo Pérez Esquivel: Rivers of Hope (Straight Shooter Review)". Micro Film Maker. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Harlem Film Festival". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  3. ^ World Humanitarian Awards Retrieved 14 October 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Nobel Peace Laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel in Monaco invited by PeaceJam". MONACO REPORTER. June 17, 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Adolfo Perez Esquivel: Rivers of Hope". Film Freeway. Film Freeway. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  6. ^ Weinberg, Leonard; Pedahzur, Ami; Perliger, Arie (2009). Political parties and terrorist groups (2nd ed.). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. p. 60. ISBN 978-0415775373.
  7. ^ "rgentina Dirty War - 1976-1983". Global Security. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Fernández Meijide calificó de "mentira" la cifra de 30 mil desaparecidos". Losandes. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Adolfo Perez Esquivel Rivers of Hope". Adolfo Perez Esquivel Rivers of Hope. IMDB. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Adolfo Perez ESquivel". PeaceJam. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015.

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