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Why We Fight (2004)

Cast: Wilton Sekzer, Wilton Sekzer, Chalmers Johnson, more...
Director: Eugene Jarecki, Eugene Jarecki
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Sony Pictures
Genre: Documentary, Political & Social Issues
Running Time: 99 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish, French, Portuguese
    see additional details...

In 1961, as Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his final address to the nation before leaving the office of President of the United States, he warned that America "must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted the military-industrial complex." Nearly 45 years later, as the United States finds itself waging a war in Iraq for reasons that seem increasingly unclear with the passage of time, Eisenhower's statement becomes all the more pertinent, and the question becomes more apt: has the machinery the United States established to wage war helped prevent conflict, or has it done more to inspire it? Documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki offers an in-depth look at how the United States has readied itself for battle, and why and how the nation goes to war in the film Why We Fight. Named for Frank Capra's famed series of Defense Department films (which explained the motives behind America's entry into World War II), Why We Fight features interviews with foot soldiers, Army recruits, Pentagon personnel, decorated veterans, members of Congress, national security advisors, top military strategists, and many more as they talks about the core philosophies of American military strategy and how they have changed since the end of the Second World War. Why We Fight received the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Following her conversation with James Longley about what the future might hold for Iraq, Hannah Eaves turns to Eugene Jarecki to discuss his documentary, Why We Fight, which addresses, in part, how the US ended up over there in the first place. She also asks what it is he admires in Dwight Eisenhower and Frank Capra. Full article >>

GreenCine Member Reviews

Constant Battle by talltale July 5, 2006 - 7:39 PM PDT
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Among--maybe the--most sophisticated of recent documentaries, WHY WE FIGHT tracks America's history since President Eisenhower's address regarding the threat, as he saw it, from our own military/industrial complex. Turns out he was quite right, as his offspring and their's now agree--along with the doc's director Eugene Jarecki, who weaves together a fast-paced narrative that includes a host of interesting people and ideas.

There's the retired NYC cop who lost a son in the World Trade Center (he provides the most fascinating and unexpected story), a young man about to make his decision to join the military, a pilot pair who dropped the first bombs on Iraq, politicians, military and many more. Although Jarecki points up the lies that led to our Iraq invasion, he makes it clear how and why America's path since WWII has been militaristic and imperialistic, no matter which President occupied the Oval Office. Among the truly creepy moments in this very worthwhile film is watching and listening to Richard Perle so quietly, carefully, effectively and insidiously lie through his crooked teeth.

An antidote is retired military whistle-blower Karen Kiatkowski's clear and ringing explanation of her experiences. This "must-see" includes a Special Features section of audience questions and Jarecki's interaction with a group of high school students.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 8.07)
56 Votes
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