Friday, May 05, 2006

OK Documentary on the Military Industrial Complex

by Eugene Jarecki

For me it didn’t get off to a good start. The opening music of the film reminded me of Philip Glass and seeing some archival footage with that music made me think of The Fog of War which is one of the best documentaries that I’ve seen. It’s not good when you start thinking of another film at the very beginning of a film.
But it’s not a bad film and there are some good moments in Why We Fight and a lot of confirmation of things that I had known about. So while I didn’t have a problem with the message of the film, the structure just didn’t work for me. There were several narrative threads that went throughout the film and they were fairly skillfully weaved together, but the spacing and pacing made in more academic than emotional. I would have liked to have spent a bit more time with some of the people in the film as they explored and explained the ideas.
Many of the ideas and issues were explored in a much more nuanced and personal way in The Fog of War, so if you had a choice between two films to watch to start thinking about war, politics and how it changes people and the reasons for using military power, it’s a much better place to start.

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