Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dirty Wars (Rick Rowley, 2013)

Slightly too focused on Jeremy Scahill himself as the journalist uncovers a massive, unsettling method of covert operations, Dirty Wars nevertheless condenses years of Scahill's arduous reporting legwork into a concise, dramatic thriller that blanches at military overreach as much as it respects the fading art of honest journalism. It provides food for thought for supporters and detractors of the Obama administration, clarifying their response to the War on Terror not as a push toward peace (or a retreat) but an advance of warfare in clandestine terms that should make everyone take pause. Scahill's empathetic facial reactions to horrific stories from interview subjects may be overused, but it's hard not to cheer a journalist so steadfastly doing his job, and as instructive as the film is for uncovering a terrifying military expansion, it is equally instructive in showing the process by which such a thing is credibly pieced together by a diligent reporter.

My full review is up now at Spectrum Culture.

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