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Dirty Wars
★★★☆☆
First run
Dirty Wars is a first person documentary about investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill and his extensive, boots-on-the-ground research on America’s covert wars and secret military actions across, what has become, a global battlefield. It is import journalistic work to be sure; we don’t get many films like this now that George W. Bush is out of office, despite the fact that the violence and damage done by the US in the name of the War On Terror has only increased under the Obama administration. However, like last year’s Chasing Ice, the film is too focused on the storyteller and not enough on the story. The camera lingers on close-ups of Scahill as he interviews key figures, listens to eye-witness accounts, and works at his computer.  Coupled with his steely voiceover, this keeps the viewer at a distance from the facts Scahill is trying to bring to light, which undercuts the film’s primary goal of bringing the audience closer to the realities he is reporting on. The approach director Richard Rowley has taken would work far better as a fictionalized narrative film about Scahill and the events he is uncovering, rather than an up-close and personal documentary about him.
Directed by Rick Rowley
Produced by Anthony Arnove, Brenda Coughlin, and Jeremy Scahill

Screenplay by Jeremy Scahill and David Riker
Based on the book Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill

With: Jeremy Scahill

Cinematography: Rick Rowley
Editing: Rick Rowley and David Riker
Music: David Harrington

Runtime: 90 min
Release Date: 18 January 2013
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Color