Arms for the Poor Cover
Dalai LamaJet bomberChild not wanting war in subtitlesPoverty-stricken refugees

Arms for the Poor

5.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(1 customer review)


Experts explore how the arms industry in America persuades the U.S. Congress to encourage and expand the sale of high-tech weapons around the globe. The arms trade destabilizes entire regions of the world, impoverishing countries where “the poor cry out for food and doctors, not guns and generals.”

Duration : 26 min.

Release Date : 1997

Discussion Guide available



Narrated by Richard Kiley.

In unveiling the murky world of U.S. weapons exports to developing countries, this documentary exposes the present-day influence of the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower cautioned about when he left office. “It is not about geopolitical strategy . . . it’s simply about greed and a hustle to the developing world,” says one Globe journalist.

Arms for the Poor goes beyond politics and economics to ask whether the arms trade might be killing America’s national soul. While the poor need housing, education, and health care, U.S. taxpayers support an already-immense military budget that is growing larger deal by deal. The film presents an international spectrum of experts, dignitaries, and activists (Oscar Arias, U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and the Dalai Lama, among them) who maintain, along with one Nobel laureate, that “the poor are crying out for schools and doctors, not guns and generals.”


Cine Golden Eagle Award
Harry Chapin Media Award



Screenings and Festivals

On Capitol Hill for members of Congress
Documentary film series sponsored by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
United Nations Film Festival
Vermont International Film Festival
Seven Islands International Film Festival; Amnesty International Film Festival (Seattle, WA)
Human Rights Film Festival (Wellington, Australia)
Monterey Bay Film Festival

How to Use This Film

Arms for the Poor is part of our Connecting the Dots series, which shows how policies carried out by the industrialized world create poverty and suffering in the developing world. These documentaries are thought-provoking resources on the global dimensions of social and environmental justice. Click here to read a review of this series by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, Ph.D.

Specific suggestions for showing our films in your community can be found under Using Our Films. For additional information on the arms trade, we suggest the following websites:

Center For Defense Information

Council for a Livable World

Federation of American Scientists

Global Issues

Nuclear Policy Research Institute

Pax Christi USA

Union of Concerned Scientists

World Policy Institute

Additional information

Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 5.25 x .5 x 7.5 in

View Film Clip

Arms for the Poor

1 review for Arms for the Poor

  1. 5 out of 5

    “Arms for the Poor exposes the U.S. policy of selling weapons to ‘almost anybody who will buy them,’ and shows the devastating impact this policy has on the world’s poorest people. It is deeply disturbing to learn that 32 top executives and major shareholders from the arms industry have been appointed to top defense positions in the Bush Administration.”

    Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, Ph.D.
    Writer, Theologian, Teacher

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