Dirty Wars Movie Review

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Starring: Jeremy Scahill


Directed by: Richard Rowley


Rated: NR

Run Time: 87 min

Genre: Documentary


Opens June 28th


By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic


Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Opening this week at Harkins Shea 14 is the documentary and book of the same name, "Dirty Wars", written and starring investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill. This film was nominated for the Grand Jury prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival but took home the award for Best Cinematography. The "Dirty Wars" also a book written by Scahil and film and the book will be releasing simultaneously. Scahill is a National Security Correspondent for The Nation magazine and has also authored another book that caused a ripple effect across Washington, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army".

Scahill spent a number of years overseas embedded with troops and covering the news desk in places like Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iran. When he comes across the death of a police officer in Jalalabad, Afghanistan who was U.S. friendly, he uncovers more questions than he can find answers to. Like why does this certain commander keep showing up in pictures? What is J.S.O.C.? Why are the names of the dead not being listed on NATO press releases? Scahill in the film interviews family members of victims who have been killed in night raids, ex-special forces members, retired military, and a man Anwar Al Awlaki, who was a US Born citizen but due to heighten interests in his religious activities fled the country, thus listed on a "kill list".

Journalism nowadays is under scrutiny these days as the media tends to be biased based on who is pulling the purse strings. When you come across a film such as this that raises compelling, fascinating and yet potentially endangering information, it's always best to look into further sources before choosing a side. Scahill and Director Richard Rowely are passionate in their argument about how far off the beaten path the war on terror has gone, but I wonder about the sources interview that were retired military or ex- special forces, how unbiased or biased are the interviewees based on their time in the service? Every story has three sides- the other person, ours and the truth. Hopefully this film help cracks open the truth than just embellishing one side over the other. You be the judge when "Dirty Wars" opens at Harkins Shea 14 starting Friday June 28, 2013.