Dirty Wars: Film review - criminality at the heart of the American system
(15) Richard Rowley, 86 mins
Not since Woodward and Bernstein exposed the Watergate scandal in All the President's Men has there been a film as effective as Dirty Wars in depicting criminality at the heart of the American system. This may be a documentary but it is structured like a noirish detective thriller with journalist Jeremy Scahill as the Sam Spade-type hero, on the track of the bad guys.
The film begins with Scahill investigating why two pregnant Afghan women and an Afghan police commander were murdered by US security forces who then tried to conceal their crime.
The trail leads him to a shadowy organization called JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command.) It's at this point that the complexities mount. JSOC organised the Navy Seal raid to kill Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. Its members are portrayed by the mainstream media as latter-day folk heroes. Scahill, though, shows us that they are killers who, as part of the war against terror, have been given licence to operate beyond the law.
Dirty Wars doesn't pretend to be balanced or neutral. Its position is one of anger and disbelief at the extra-judicial assassinations of men, women and children, some of them American citizens, who can't be defined as terrorists at all.
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
Top Gear live to go ahead: Jeremy Clarkson to join Richard Hammond and James May... just don't call it Top Gear
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Menstruation-themed photo series artist 'censored by Instagram' says images are to demystify taboos around periods
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans