High profile celebrities like Allen and Albert Hughes create the stunning public service announcements

By Ken Tucker
Updated July 08, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

Even if TV’s preachy public-service announcements turn you off, it’s likely the remarkable antigun spots grouped under the title ”Peace: Live It or Rest in It” will grab your attention. Now airing on MTV, HBO, Black Entertainment Television, E!, and The Box, these brief vignettes dramatize the dangers of young people using guns. In one, directed by Albert and Allen Hughes (Menace II Society), a boy playing with a handgun accidentally fires it. The camera follows the bullet as it rips through glass, walls, and a television. The frame freezes just before it arrives at its last stop: a baby in a high chair. The rap group Onyx and performance artist John Leguizamo are among those appearing in these grim-yet-surprising, beautifully shot mini-movies. Coproduced by HBO and the Warner Music Group, the eight ”Peace” spots are blunt and occasionally profane, effective because they succeed first as art and second as propaganda.