Review: Dirty Wars (2013)

Year: 2013
Rating: M
Director: Rick Rowley
Cast: Nasser Al Aulaqi, Saleha Al Auloqi, Jeremy Scahill
Distributor: Madman
Available: Now
Rating: 3 and a half Stars

Controversy has surrounded US military interventions in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia, and the new political documentary Dirty Wars, reminds viewers of the grave issues of this foreign policy. Following investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, this compelling, persuasive film exposes the truth behind American military involvement in nations that the US isn’t even in conflict with.

Scrutinizing the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the documentary explores its drone attacks, terrorist hit lists and the hundreds of civilian killings. With JSOC the team “responsible” for the death of Osama Bin Laden, the documentary breaks down the façade of heroism by these military officers as seen in films like Zero Dark Thirty.

Unfortunately, Jeremy Scahill is too easily heralded as the champion of the documentary and doesn’t offer a defense of JSOC, making the film a one-sided argument. But beyond its stylistic misadventures, Dirty Wars remains gripping and challenging. Special features on the disc are limited to a making-of featurette.

Originally published in FilmInk Magazine, May 25, 2014.

Watch the trailer for Dirty Wars below:

Published by Eden Caceda

Eden Caceda is an acclaimed journalist, commentator and radio host from Sydney, Australia. After studying English at the University of Sydney, he has written over 300 articles and pieces from 2013. His key areas of writing are culture, entertainment, opinion and current affairs.


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