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In 2022, an older man told me his childhood story. The Second World War had made his life turbulent. He said the day when the peace arrived was the happiest day of his life. So, what is peace? In July 2023, on a scorching summer day, I interviewed a group of veterans, listening to their stories of war and peace.

During chaotic times, these veterans chose to come forward. The war divided their lives into two worlds.

When the war ended, they chose to retire to the countryside and live a tranquil life. Many of their peers’ lives had ended at 18 forever. For survivors, the countryside was the best healing for the wounds brought by the war. In their stories, I felt the gratitude of an ordinary person who has survived and the indelible sadness in their hearts.

Today, the young soldiers have grown old. Time passed and left deep marks on their faces. Finally, in the 21st century, after experiencing war after war, the pursuit of peace has become a global consensus. We can finally enjoy the sunshine, forests, mountains, grasslands, rivers, and everything peace grants. However, the patriots who were once recognized by the state have become ordinary peasants. Their contributions are no longer remembered, and their sacrifices are no longer commemorated. However, we cannot forget that a group of nameless patriots used their youth and lives to defend our sunshine, forests, and mountains.

Directed by Sirui Wang (China)

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