How to Start a Revolution iPad and iTunes

htsar_title_cHow to Start a Revolution is a multi award winning documentary following the work of 2012 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp, the world’s foremost expert on nonviolent action. BAFTA award-winning director Ruaridh Arrow follows the use of Gene Sharp’s work by democracy activists from the streets of Serbia and the jungles of Burma to Tahrir Square and the Arab Spring.

The film is now available on  iTunes and a new multimedia app as well as DVD (NTSC for US/Canada and South America and PAL for Europe/Rest of World) or you can play on Vimeo.


The groundbreaking app is a touch activated documentary embedding analysis, extra video and satellite mapping with four of Gene Sharp’s key books including his famous work, From Dictatorship to Democracy, described as a handbook for revolutionaries. For the first time, the iPad brings together an award winning film and books which have helped nonviolent activists change the the world. Integration with Gene Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institution website provides hundreds of pages of additional readings and case studies.

appA Revolution Monitor fuses Google Earth with curated Twitter streams from more than 40 countries. Viewers simply touch a country to follow revolutions in real time and even interact with the activists involved. Tweeted articles, blogs and video are displayed instantly creating a live stream of activist generated news by location.

Part educational resource, part immersive experience – this app is a toolbox of resources for activists and all those interested in democracy and the abolition of violent conflict.

Academic Reviews 

“Will likely challenge and broaden the way people think about the continuing struggle for freedom and constitutional democracy around the world. Indeed, it is rare that a film offers so much to engage with. Unusually provocative and intellectually rigorous, How to Start a Revolution is recommended quite keenly.”
– Libertas Film Magazine

“This excellent film confirms Gene Sharp as the ‘Einstein of nonviolent resistance,’ the singular pioneer in a relatively new field of inquiry and practice, whose influence on social revolutions rightfully stretches across time and place, religion and race. How to Start a Revolution should be required viewing not only in courses on nonviolence and peace studies, but really in any course that examines political change and prescribes remedies for social justice.”
– Michael Nojeim | Associate Professor of Political Science | Prairie View A&M University | Author ofGandhi and King: The Power of Nonviolent Resistance

“For more than half a century, Gene Sharp has studied the power of nonviolent action against dictatorship, occupation, and social and economic injustice and has analyzed why it has become a force more powerful than war. This remarkable documentary tells the story behind the man, working out of a simple home office in a working class neighborhood of Boston, whose writings have inspired popular struggles for freedom and justice worldwide. Anyone who doubts the power of ideas should see this film.”
– Stephen Zunes | Professor of Politics | University of San Francisco

“Rather than being the refuge of the powerless or a form of passivity, this compelling video makes it clear that well-strategized and persistent nonviolent action is a force that can shake the world. How to Start a Revolution highlights the enormous contribution that Gene Sharp has made to showing us, in pragmatic terms, how this force can best be used to undermine dictators and empower ordinary citizens. It is a source of continuing amazement to me that Sharp was not long ago awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.”
– Lloyd Jeff Dumas | Professor of Political Economy | University of Texas at Dallas

“This is a powerful film about a powerful idea — indeed, perhaps the only idea that is more powerful than violence. It is emotionally engrossing, intellectually compelling, and as fresh and up-to-date as tomorrow’s headlines. It shows how Gene Sharp’s ideas of nonviolent resistance have been — and will doubtless continue to be — central to the most important political changes taking place on our planet.”
– David P. Barash | Professor of Psychology | University of Washington

How to Start a Revolution is a brilliant and timely reminder that not only can nonviolent action be dramatically effective, but that the change it produces is likely to be more enduring than that wrought through violence and bloodshed. And in celebrating Gene Sharp it gives prominence to an unlikely hero of the peace movement, whose work and influence will in time come to be seen as seminal in helping to shape a new path for humankind.”
– Edward Canfor-Dumas | Head of Secretariat | UK Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues

How to Start a Revolution shows how Gene Sharp’s simple tools of nonviolent action have helped people around the world stand up to powerful forces and aggression. The Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation was pleased to show How to Start a Revolution, and to honor the work of Gene Sharp and filmmaker Ruaridh Arrow. When someone asks you if it’s possible to stand up to a dictator or overthrow an autocratic regime, tell them to go watch this remarkable film.”
– Susan Hackley | Managing Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

“At last, a film focused solely on Gene Sharp’s formidable intellectual influence on historical and contemporary conflicts. A brilliant film celebrating a brilliant man. Bravo!”
– Erica Chenoweth | University of Denver | Co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict