Why We Fight
January 20, 2006
On the Big Board
||Very engrossing, often thought-provoking doc but it eventually gets lost in critiquing Iraq rather than wondering why we fight.
||Interesting idea, but felt aimless.
Inspired by Dwight D. Eisenhower's famous farewell speech, Why We Fight examines the inner workings of the U.S. war machine. Directed and created by Eugene Jarecki, whose previous work includes the documentary The Trials of Henry Kissinger, the movie looks at the military and its evolution over the past half-century. Early on, President Eisenhower showed foresight as he warned that the growing "military industrial complex" had the potential to grow into a massive machine that would spin out of control.
Jarecki uses personal stories from a variety of military and political insiders to impart his tale. Such luminaries as John McCain, Gore Vidal, William Kristol, Chalmers Johnson and Richard Perle are featured in a bipartisan examination of the state of the warring world in 2004. Included are inquiries into the sometimes entangled political, corporate and Defense Department interests.
The movie won the Grand Jury Prize and the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, and takes its title from a series of movies created by Frank Capra during WWII. That movie looked at the stirring and compelling reasons for joining the war. Jarecki's film now asks why we are in fact involved in such places as Iraq, and wonders what it is doing to our culture and political landscape. (Kim Hollis/BOP)