World War I was a long and brutal conflict that left more than 16 million people dead, and two months after the war finally came to a halt in November 1918, leaders from the world's major nations came together in Paris, France to draft a treaty that would determine the shape of the post-war world. American president Woodrow Wilson stated his belief that vengeance would not produce justice or prevent another war; instead, he proposed a League of Nations that would give the world's major powers a venue for settling their differences without violence. However, Wilson's vision had little appeal to many European leaders, especially the French and the British, who were foremost in the belief that Germany had ultimately caused the war and deserved a punishment greater than their defeat. A demand for reparations from Germany led to months of angry negotiations that left the Germans in financial ruin, while at the same time other officials were literally redrawing the maps of the world as they determined new boundaries and juggled the placement of refugees amidst shifting allegiances. Historian Margaret MacMillan told the story of the Paris Peace Conference and the drafting of the Treaty of Versailles in her best-selling book Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed The World, and filmmaker Paul Cowan has brought the book to the screen in this film adaptation, which uses both rare newsreel footage and vintage photographs along with staged re-enactments to tell the story of a bid for lasting peace and justice that in time helped launch another world war. Paris 1919 received its world premiere at the 2009 Hot Docs International Film Festival.