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The World Without Us (2008)

Cast: Roy Werner, Mark Ofuji, Tomo Kawaguchi, more...
Director: Mitch Anderson, Niall Ferguson
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Passion River
Genre: Documentary, Political & Social Issues
Running Time: 85 min.

Filmmakers Mitch Anderson and Niall Ferguson explore the potential consequences of what could happen should the leaders of the United States decide to exit the international scene and return to our original roots as a republic - not an empire - in this thought-provoking documentary. How exactly does U.S. foreign policy affect the millions of people around the world that live outside of our country? Only by posing this pressing question can we begin to understand the effects that the decisions made at home have on our global community. At the end of World War I, the U.S. was considered an isolationist nation; today we have bases in over ninety countries. As the population and economic power of the U.S. shrinks, the rest of the world keeps on growing. Intrigued by the though of what could happen should the America decide to withdraw from its foreign bases and focus strictly on domestic issues, producer Anderson and reputed BBC and Chanel4 personality Ferguson embark on an investigative trip across four continents to speak with the very experts who could offer realistic answers to this heady question. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

War is peace by MKaliher May 15, 2009 - 11:40 AM PDT
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
The promos for this film really sucked me in. I thought it would intelligently examine the idea that America cannot afford to, and does not need to, play policeman to the world. After all, the United Nations refused to back our latest adventure in Iraq, which so far has cost more than 4,200 American lives and over 100,000 innocent Iraqi lives. (That's a far cry from the millions who died in Southeast Asia, but a life is still a life.) And allies are getting a little hard to find. What did we finally come up with for Iraq--31 from Romania, fourteen from Lithuania, nine from Moldova? But this film is a propaganda screed masquerading as a documentary.

While The World Without Us does concede that United States taxpayers fund at least $420 billion a year in defense spending, and that America has armed forces stationed in over 90 countries and is hated around the world for its bullying foreign policy, its bottom line is that we need to keep paying the tab, sacrificing our sons and daughters to the war machine, and tolerating the animosity. If we don't (1) the delivery of oil will be interrupted and we won't be able to roar around in our Escalades and F-250s, (2) ethnic chaos will force war in Europe, (3) Israel will be wiped off the map, (4) China will invade Taiwan and rain missiles down on the United States, (5) North Korea and Iran will drop the Big One, and (6) generally, the whole world will go to hell in a hand basket. If we do, presumably, we can all join the armed forces or go to work for Raytheon, Haliburton, or the hundreds of other American corporations that profit from death and destruction, and recoup some of what the government is bleeding from us in taxes. So Orwell was right: War IS peace.

I don't know if Deep Water Productions, which funded this film, is a cover for some right-wing think tank, but it clearly has a stake in the status quo and the interests of the war profiteers. Take a pass on this propaganda piece with its cheesy dramatizations, and instead check out Errol Morris's excellent The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, or Why We Fight--which is also more even-handed, but less so than The Fog of War. The difference between The World Without Us and those two films is like night and day--or war and peace.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.40)
5 Votes
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