From the investigative work of American journalist Jeremy Scahill comes Dirty Wars, a hard hitting documentary about the United States secretive war on terror. The film follows Scahill and his efforts in trying to undercover the true nature of the highly secretive US elite forces unit JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) and their operations in countering terrorism.
Dirty Wars plays more like a feature film then a documentary; Scahill’s dogged, probing and at times confronting journalism gives the film a simliar feel to that of a thriller and director Richard Rowley manages to capture the action impressively. Scahill had already made a name for himself with his award winning book on the controversial private military company Blackwater and similarly with Dirty Wars, he relentlessly follows the story, from Afghanistan to the White House, to Yemen and back again. For the entire duration of the film, Scahill never stops asking questions, uncovering a web of secrets, lies and cover ups about the Special Forces unit who killed Bin Laden.
In its own right, Dirty Wars is an important piece of journalism; shining a light on America’s secret war on terror; a war that as the film suggests, has no end. Yet importantly; Dirty Wars also manages to successfully translate it all to the big screen, in 87 minutes of explosive journalism.
Dirty Wars screened as part of the 2013 Melbourne International Film Festival. Click here for all of our reviews from MIFF 2013.