Veteran filmmaker STEVE YORK has produced documentaries on religious fundamentalism, history and politics, and nonviolent struggles in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. He is a frequent speaker on civil resistance movements, and has been invited to present his films in venues including film festivals, the United Nations, universities and school classrooms, conferences and workshops around the world.
For his latest documentary, Egypt: Revolution Interrupted? (2015) York drew on 30 years of experience making films on Middle Eastern and Islamic subjects to show how Egyptian activists steadily mobilized and finally defeated their autocratic president of thirty years, but failed to achieve their democratic and economic goals.
His earlier films include Letter from Palestine, an intimate profile of a Palestinian medical team in the West Bank; Islam an introduction to the origins, beliefs, culture, and achievements of Islam; The Arab and The Israeli, which documents the anguish of an Israeli Army officer and a deported Palestinian mayor who toured the U.S. to work for peace; and Remaking the World, a profile of Islamic fundamentalism.
York’s films about World War II include two prize-winning ABC News Specials, Pearl Harbor: Two Hours That Changed the World, with David Brinkley, (George Foster Peabody award), and Turning Point at Normandy: The Soldiers' Story, with Peter Jennings, (Gold Hugo). People Magazine called York’s PBS program, Remembering The Bomb, filmed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 40th anniversary of the atomic bombings, "...understated and spectacularly moving …Grade A.”
In 1987 Steve York received unprecedented access to the inner workings of the U.S. Supreme Court to film the two-part PBS series, This Honorable Court, winner of the Silver Gavel and the Chris Award. Ten years later the Court asked him to produce The Supreme Court of the United States, a 20-minute film which played continuously in the Court's Visitors' Center for a decade.
Exploring provocative American themes, York took on advertising and its influence on American society in Selling the Dream (1990 PBS), and the uniquely American gun culture in the three-part series Gunpower (1996 Discovery Channel/Channel 4-UK). For Vietnam Memorial (PBS Frontline), his moving record of the five days of healing surrounding the dedication of the veterans’ memorial in 1982, York was nominated for his first Emmy.
In 1997 York turned his attention to the dramatic success of nonviolent conflicts around the world. A Force More Powerful debuted as a feature-length documentary in 1999 and was expanded into a three-hour series for PBS broadcast in the fall of 2000. This ground-breaking three-hour series, narrated by Ben Kingsley and nominated for an Emmy, has been translated into 19 languages and is a staple in high school and college curricula across the U.S.
York followed up in 2002 with the one-hour PBS program, Bringing Down A Dictator, about the nonviolent defeat of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic. Narrated by Martin Sheen, Bringing Down A Dictator received the coveted Peabody award and has been translated into a dozen languages and broadcast around the world.
York completed this civil resistance trilogy in 2007 with the feature-length film Orange Revolution about the dramatic events surrounding the presidential election in Ukraine in 2004.
In 2005, York and his team traveled to South Africa, Peru, East Timor and Morocco to create Confronting the Truth, a documentary about the mission and impact of truth and reconciliation commissions. York has also served as executive producer on two video simulation games about nonviolent movements, A Force More Powerful: the Game of Nonviolent Strategy, (2006) and the 2010 release, People Power: The Game of Civil Resistance.