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February 13, 2004

Uncovered Review

Several months ago, I commented briefly on the MoveOn.org sponsored house parties for screening Robert Greenwald's documentary, Uncovered. At the time, I was simply intrigued by how the film had been distributed. Now that I've had an opportunity to watch the film, I'll throw in my two cents about it.

I'll first point out that I find Greenwald's film to be an impressive and important documentary, one that offers a powerful argument against the war in Iraq. Uncovered used editing very effectively in several key sequences, cutting between Bush's famous State of the Union speech and CIA intelligence experts who take apart his major justifications for the war. The number of experts Greenwald assembles, including John Dean, Scott Ritter, and Joseph Wilson, is quite impressive, and I found their arguments to be very convincing. If more undecided voters were to see this documentary, I think that would be a very good thing.

That being said, I know well that my impression of the film is certainly inflected by any number of biases. As I watched the film, I tried to imagine how undecided voters might respond to it. Would they notice that the film failed to offer any interviews or comments by people who supported the war? Would those viewers object to a documentary that took such a clear argumentative approach? I'm not sure I have an answer to those questions. One minor quibble: the film used borrowed footage from C-Span broadcasts to build some of its arguments without displaying the date of the speech we were watching, which could occasionally be confusing, but that's probably me being picky.

I'd also imagine that because many of the documentary's claims (yellowcake, mobile weapons factories, terrorist connections) have been so thoroughly confirmed (annoying WaPost registration now required) by now that Uncovered might have a much different imapct on viewers than it did when it was first released. I'd be curious to hear from others who have seen this film. What were your reactions to it?

Posted by chuck at February 13, 2004 12:00 AM

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Even though it's likely that a pro-war documentary (ha! I guess that what Fox, CNN, and MSNBC became last spring), could line up a lot of expert testimony, I was taken with the impressive volume (and credentials) of Uncovered's witnesses. That catalogue of expertise has to be effective.

Posted by: dave at February 13, 2004 10:29 AM

Agreed. It ran a little long, but the opening sequence in which the filmmaker asserted the credibility of each of the interviewees was impressive and did wonders towards establishing the film's credibility.

Posted by: chuck at February 13, 2004 10:34 AM

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