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January 7, 2005

Documenting War

Morning coffee reads: Reading Cinema Minima this morning, I was reminded that Eugene Jarecki's documentary, Why We Fight (IMDB), will be playing at Sundance. According to Cyndi Greening, Jarecki's film "makes a powerful case for the economic NEED for war to sustain our hegemony and standard of living." The title clearly refers to the World War II film series, commissioned by George Marshall's War Department, that used the talents of filmmakers such as Frank Capra to justify the war, so I'll be interested to see how Jarecki riffs off of this earlier material.

Eugene Jarecki, the younger brother of Capturing the Friedmans director Andrew Jarecki, also made the 2002 documentary, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, which I found to be a little too transparently partisan at the time, although the political work of interrogating Kissinger's actions is certainly vital.

Greening, a film professor at Mesa Community College, has a personal blog in addition to her contributions to Cinema Minima.

Posted by chuck at January 7, 2005 10:39 AM

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Off topic, but Hotel Rwanda is playing at Tara now.

Posted by: Jen at January 7, 2005 1:16 PM

Thanks, Jen. I'm planning to catch the 10 PM screening tonight. Let me know what you think if you see it.

Posted by: Chuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 7, 2005 1:48 PM

Beyond the documentary, there must be a million great war movies-

"All Quiet on the Western Front" & "Saving Private Ryan" immediately come to mind. There have to be a ton of them...

Posted by: Steve at January 8, 2005 7:12 AM

Oh yeah, Thomas Doherty has a great book on war films. I'll admit that I'm not a big fan of Saving Private Ryan (my anti-Spielberg/Hanks snobbery), but it's a rich genre. It might be interesting to see how documentaries and movies about Vietnam (Hearts and Minds, for example) compare with Gulf War II films.

Posted by: Chuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 8, 2005 1:49 PM

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