25 January 2009

Control Room

Just watched the documentary Control Room, about Al Jazeera during the invasion of Iraq. Poor Al Jazeera! They were hated by both sides, as near as I could tell because they were devoted to broadcasting the truth.

The movie was for me full of ambiguities. For example, the soldiers going door to door (pretty scary stuff from my own training) vs the poor civilians caught in this. The soldiers trying to control the civilians without being able to speak their language vs the poor civilians who had no idea what they were being told. The reporters wanting information, the military not wanting to give out something useful to their enemy.

I found 1Lt Josh Rushing very sympathetic (perhaps because I was once a 1Lt). He seemed to be honestly trying to understand the Arab point of view. And was keenly aware that he reacted to dead Americans on TV differently than to dead Iraqis.

The DVD includes deleted scenes. I didn’t watch all, but many were political discussions that may be enlightening but didn’t really relate to the main theme of the film.

An interesting and thought-provoking documentary, still relevant.

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