Films on Anti-War

An anti-war film is a film that emphasizes the pain, horror, and human costs of armed conflict. While some films criticize armed conflicts in a general sense, others focus on acts within a specific war, such as the use of poison gas or the genocidal killing of civilians (e.g., Hotel Rwanda, 2004). Some anti-war films such as Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) use parody and black comedy to satirize wars and conflicts. An anti-war film’s goal is to show the physical and psychological destruction warfare causes to the soldiers and to innocent civilians. Fifty million people died in a war started by one man, Adolph Hitler. Many more would die in a nuclear war.

See Also:

NUCLEAR WAR

ANTI-WAR VIETNAM WAR

ANTI-WAR WORLD WAR 2

ANTI-WAR WORLD WAR 1

ANTI-WAR VARIOUS OTHER WARS

FILMS ON SOLDIERS

The Power of Nightmares:
The Rise of the Politics of Fear

Documentary 2004 NR 180 minutes.  This three-part documentary explores the use of fear for political gain, given the lasting impact of 9/11 and with media sensationalism at an all-time high. This is not about nightmares, but instead about people in power who give us nightmares for their own benefit.  The first, “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” examines historical aspects of international threats. “The Phantom Victory” looks at how two disparate groups, radical Islamists and neo-conservatives, apply similar tactics. And “The Shadows in the Cave” asks the question, “Is organized terrorism an illusion?”  The facts revealed by this documentary series are very interesting and will change your perception of what they call the “War on Terror”.  See Full Review

War Made Easy

Documentary 2007 NR 73 minutes. Based on Norman Solomon’s revealing book and narrated by actor Sean Penn, this documentary exposes the government’s and the media’s purported history of deceiving the American people and leading the nation into war after war. Using archival footage of past presidents and media correspondents — including the revered Walter Cronkite — the film sheds light on propaganda and draws parallels between the Vietnam and Iraq wars. See Full Review

Peace Mongers

Documentary TEDTalks 2011 NR 13 Episodes. These peace-loving TEDTalks presenters discuss the personal effects of war and possible solutions that could end the violence.

Howard Zinn
You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train

Documentary 2004 NR 78 minutes. Matt Damon narrates this documentary chronicling Howard Zinn’s commitment to social change through archival materials, commentary from Zinn and interviews with contemporaries Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Tom Hayden and Alice Walker, among others. See Full Review

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AFGHANISTAN

Wikisecrets

Documentary Frontline 2011 NR. Intelligence analyst Bradley Manning set off a firestorm of controversy when he released millions of classified documents to the WikiLeaks Web site in 2010. “Frontline” investigates this enigmatic figure’s motives and the fallout of his actions. It’s the biggest intelligence breach in U.S. history-the leaking of more than half-a-million classified documents on the Wikileaks website in the spring of 2010. Behind it all, stand two very different men: Julian Assange, the Internet activist and hacker who published the documents, and an Army intelligence analyst named Bradley E. Manning, who’s currently charged with handing them over. Private Manning allegedly leaked the secret cables — along with a controversial video — in the hope of inciting “worldwide discussion, debates and reforms.” Assange’s stated mission has been to force the U.S. and other governments into maximum transparency through his whistle-blowing website. Through in-depth interviews with Manning’s father, Assange, and others close to the case, veteran Frontline correspondent Martin Smith tells the full story behind the leaks. He also reports on the U.S. government’s struggle to protect national security information in a post 9/11 world.

Julian Assange: A Modern Day Hero?
Inside the World of WikiLeaks

Documentary 2011 NR 1hr 30m. Radical and unapologetic, Australian publisher and journalist Julian Assange created massive controversy in 2010 by making public a flood of secret correspondence among U.S. government agencies via the WikiLeaks website. As this comprehensive and unbiased examination of Assange’s career illustrates, he was already engaged in distributing “secret” information in the public interest before the revelations that made him world famous. The repeated heading used in the film is “Courage is Contageous.”

The Tillman Story

Documentary 2010 R 95 minutes. Pat Tillman’s family comes forward to tell the real story about what happened on April 22, 2004, in Afghanistan when the pro football player-turned-U.S. soldier was killed by friendly fire and not the Taliban, as first reported. Amir Bar-Lev’s documentary pieces together the Tillmans’ search for the truth, how they exposed a military cover-up that led to top-ranking officers and called to the carpet the likes of Donald Rumsfeld.See Full Review

Restrepo

Documentary 2010 R 1hr 33m. Author Sebastian Junger and photographer Tim Hetherington spent a year embedded with the Second Platoon in Afghanistan, chronicling the hard work, fear and brotherhood that comes with repelling a deadly enemy in this Oscar-nominated documentary. See Full Review

Where Soldiers Come From

Documentary 2011 NR 1hr31m. This documentary tells the story of five friends from a small town who grew up together, join the military together, and then get shipped off to war together. These kids all signed up for mostly the same reasons many small town youths enter the National Guard — money, college, and to get out of a small town. But this tight-knit group of friends who join the reserves to get money for college are then deployed to the extreme opposite—active duty in the harsh desert of Afghanistan. The film shows the realities and daily struggles of their rural home lives as well as the time spent maturing over nine months in a foreign and stressful place. See Full Review

Rethink Afghanistan

Documentary 2009 NR. Filmmaker Robert Greenwald (Outfoxed) carefully examines the war in Afghanistan, raising challenging questions about the destabilization of Pakistan, U.S. troop escalation, ballooning military costs, civilian casualties and much more. Through fascinating interviews with Afghans, veterans, reporters, ex-CIA agents and foreign-policy experts, Greenwald’s incisive documentary urges an immediate de-escalation of the conflict.

The Road to Guantanamo

Docudrama 2006 R 95 minutes.  Director Michael Winterbottom presents the true story of three British Muslim men known as “the Tipton Three,” who were unjustly arrested and held for more than two years in the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay.

IRAQ

Uncovered: The War on Iraq

Documentary 2004 UR 83 minutes. In this examination of the United States government’s case for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, filmmaker Robert Greenwald provides compelling evidence that the Bush administration misled American citizens in the run-up to war. Crosscutting interviews with CIA analysts, weapons inspectors and military brass with press conferences and speeches from Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and former President Bush, the film paints a thought-provoking picture. Uncovered: The War on Iraq is a 2004 documentary filmdirected by Robert Greenwald that is an extended version of Greenwald’s film in 2003 entitledUncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War.See Full Review

Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War

Documentary 2003 NR 80 minutes. This controversial documentary takes you behind the walls of the U.S. government as CIA, Pentagon and Foreign Service experts address the government’s reasons for launching the “preemptive” war on Iraq in 2003. Through interviews, more than 20 experts (including weapons inspectors and a former CIA operative) offer their views on what they claim was distortion of intelligence information by the Bush Administration to purposely mislead the public.

Fair Game

Docudrama 2010 PG-13 108 minutes. After her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn), writes op-ed columns accusing the Bush administration of misleading the public to justify invading Iraq, Valerie Plame Wilson’s (Naomi Watts) status as a covert CIA agent is leaked by administration officials. Based on events described in Plame Wilson’s memoir, this drama explores the political scandal that led to the conviction of Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

The War Behind Closed Doors

Documentary Frontline 2003. Frontline examines the hidden story of what is really driving the Bush administration to war with Iraq. The investigation asks whether the publicly reported reasons–fear of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction or a desire to insure and protect America’s access to oil–are only masking the real reason for the war. Through interviews with well-placed sources in and outside of the administration, Frontline unravels a story known only to the Washington insiders.

Truth, War, and Consequences

Documentary Frontline 2003. Frontline traces the roots of the Iraqi war back to the days immediately following September 11, when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered the creation of a special intelligence operation to quietly begin looking for evidence that would justify the war. The intelligence reports soon became a part of a continuing struggle between civilians in the Pentagon on one side and the CIA, State Department, and uniformed military on the other – a struggle that would lead to inadequate planning for the aftermath of the war, continuing violence, and mounting political problems for the president.

Fahrenheit 9/11

Documentary 2004 R 122 minutes. Michael Moore’s hard-hitting documentary addresses the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, outlining the reasons the United States (and, in turn, thousands of innocent Americans) became a target for hatred and terrorism. The film not only criticizes President George W. Bush’s response to the attacks but also reinforces Moore’s theory that the Bush Administration used the tragic event to push its own political agenda.See Full Review

The Oil Factor

Documentary 2005 NR 93 minutes. Despite official statements that U.S. wars in the Middle East and Central Asia are being waged in the name of terror, it’s hard to ignore that three-quarters of the world’s oil supply comes from these regions. Narrated by Edward Asner, this thought-provoking documentary explores the realities of the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan and sheds light on the United States’ true motives. Featured experts include Noam Chomsky and author Ahmed Rashid. Even though it briefly talks about oil and its future, its primary focus is the war in Iraq/ Afghanistan. Its title is elusive because it focuses almost entirely on the causes/effects of war in those countries. It does not talk about oil enough and gives no strong history of oil in these countries as well as America. This doc. should be retitled to something along the lines of “the unspoken history of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.” This the is most important MUST SEE documentary ever! Everyone should see this. Very factual. Please tell all your friends to see this.

Bush’s War

Documentary 2008 NR 2 episodes. This definitive documentary, produced to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, analyzes in detail controversial topics surrounding the war, including Sept. 11, al-Qaeda, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, weapons of mass destruction and Fallujah. 9/11 and Al Qaeda, Afghanistan and Iraq, WMD and the Insurgency, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Fallujah, and the Surge. For six years Frontline has been revealing those stories in meticulous detail, and the political dramas played out at the highest levels — George W. Bush and Tony Blair, Dick Cheney and Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, Osama Bin Laden. Now, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the full saga will unfold in a special four-hour broadcast over two consecutive nights on PBS, titled Bush’s War. Drawing on one of the richest archives in broadcast journalism (Frontline’s 40+ films), veteran producer Michael Kirk (Cheney’s Law; Endgame; The Lost Year in Iraq; The Dark Side; The Torture Question; Rumsfeld’s War; The Man Who Knew; The War Behind Closed Doors; Gunning for Saddam, Target America) also delivers new reporting and fresh interviews. Bush’s War will be the definitive documentary analysis of one of the most challenging periods in the nation’s history. “Parts of this history have been told before — the invasion of Afghanistan, torture, flawed intelligence and the invasion of Iraq, failures in the American occupation, and the saber-rattling over Iran,” Kirk says, “But no one has laid out the entire narrative to reveal in one epic story, the scope and detail of how this war began and how it has been fought, both on the ground and deep inside the government.”

WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception

Documentary 2004 NR 90 minutes. Independent investigative reporter and filmmaker Danny Schechter’s documentary focuses on how the media mistakenly shaped people’s views of the Iraq War through their intense coverage from the war’s inception through February 2004. Schechter’s film examines provocative theories such as the Pentagon’s involvement in media messages, how new methods such as satellites and embedded journalists distorted media coverage, and the competition between media outlets.

Iraq for Sale
The War Profiteers

Documentary 2006 NR 75 minutes. Director Robert Greenwald makes a passionate point — that private contractors are getting rich while others are suffering — in this thought-provoking 2006 documentary about profiteering and the Iraq War. Using whistle-blower testimony, firsthand accounts, financial records and classified documents, Greenwald levels charges of greed, corruption and incompetence against private contractors and shows the effect they have on Americans and Iraqis.

War, Inc.

Satire 2008 R 1hr 46m. In this outrageous satire, a hit man is paid by a private corporation to masquerade as a trade-show director and take out a Middle East oil minister. But not all goes according to plan when a fetching field reporter throws the assassin off course.

Chasing Saddam’s Weapons

Documentary Frontline 2004. With the credibility of President Bush and Prime Minister Blair at stake, BBC reporter Jane Corbin takes viewers inside the high-stakes search for Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. Through exclusive access to top-secret locations and key U.S. officials leading the hunt, including David Kay, Frontline reveals new details about what the search has uncovered and questions whether the investigation’s final results will justify the White House’s call for war.

Truth, War, and Consequences

Documentary Frontline 2003. Frontline traces the roots of the Iraqi war back to the days immediately following September 11, when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered the creation of a special intelligence operation to quietly begin looking for evidence that would justify the war. The intelligence reports soon became a part of a continuing struggle between civilians in the Pentagon on one side and the CIA, State Department, and uniformed military on the other – a struggle that would lead to inadequate planning for the aftermath of the war, continuing violence, and mounting political problems for the president.

The War Behind Closed Doors

Documentary Frontline 2003. Frontline examines the hidden story of what is really driving the Bush administration to war with Iraq. The investigation asks whether the publicly reported reasons–fear of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction or a desire to insure and protect America’s access to oil–are only masking the real reason for the war. Through interviews with well-placed sources in and outside of the administration, Frontline unravels a story known only to the Washington insiders.

The End of America

Lecture 2008 NR 74 minutes. Based on Naomi Wolf’s sobering best-seller, this documentary examines post-9/11 American freedom. Filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern present evidence that our society’s liberty has been systematically eroded under the Bush administration. Their examples parallel the loss of liberty experienced in other countries as their governments tumbled into fascism, and draw chilling connections between what’s already happened and what is yet to come.

The Wounded Platoon

Documentary Frontline 2010 NR 1hr 25m. This “Frontline” episode investigates the incredible violence, depression and post-traumatic stress exhibited by a Colorado Springs-based platoon of Iraq War veterans whose members have committed murder, assaulted loved ones and attempted suicide. Through interviews, interrogation tapes and archival materials, the program examines the effects that multiple tours of duty have on soldiers and the limitations of the Army’s mental health services. Since the Iraq War began, soldier arrests in the city of Colorado Springs have tripled. At least thirty-six servicemen based at the nearby Army post of Fort Carson have committed suicide. And fourteen Fort Carson soldiers have been charged or convicted in at least eleven killings. Many of the most violent crimes involved men who had served in the same battalion in Iraq. Three of them came from a single platoon of infantrymen. Frontline tells the dark tale of the men of 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st battalion of the 506th infantry; and how the war followed them home. It is a story of heroism, grief, vicious combat, depression, drugs, alcohol and brutal murder; an investigation into the Army’s mental health services; and a powerful portrait of what multiple tours and post-traumatic stress are doing to a generation of young American soldiers.

Body of War

Documentary 2007 NR 1hr 27m. Tomas Young left for Iraq a gung-ho soldier. He returned home paralyzed, struggling to deal with his physical limitations and his changing feelings about the war. This eye-opening documentary looks at the raging debate over the war in Iraq through the eyes of this courageous young hero who signed up for the military two days after Sept. 11, only to be sent to Iraq where a bullet shattered his life physically and emotionally.

Redacted

2007 R 90 minutes. Written and directed by Brian De Palma, this docudrama about the war in Iraq uses news broadcast footage, trial coverage and video blogs shot by soldiers and civilians to illustrate the contrast between different forms of media coverage. Homing in on an incident in which a 14-year-old Iraqi girl was raped and killed by U.S. soldiers, De Palma presents a thought-provoking argument that the realities of war are, in fact, victims of perspective.

The Soldier’s Heart

Documentary Frontline 2005. As the War in Iraq continues the first measures of its psychological toll are coming in. A medical study estimates that more than one in seven returning veterans are expected to suffer from major depression anxiety or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. For those who have survived the fighting the battle is not over. For some the return home can be as painful as war itself. Frontline tells the stories of soldiers who have come home haunted by their experiences and asks whether the government is doing enough to help.

See Also:

NUCLEAR WAR

ANTIWAR VIETNAM WAR

ANTI-WAR WORLD WAR 2

ANTI-WAR WORLD WAR 1

ANTIWAR VARIOUS OTHER WARS

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