Jeremy Scahill's "Dirty Wars" documentary
Last night, at the Independent Film Festival Boston, journalist Jeremy Scahill's Dirty Wars documentary had its East Coast premiere.
Scahill and the film's director, Rick Rowley, were in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.
The film follows Scahill peeling the onion of U.S. secret ops that kill innocents—and what used to be considered presumed-innocents—focusing on murderous night raids and drone attacks in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen.
Scahill and the equally brave (but unseen) director/cameraman go on the ground in those American-enabled nightmare worlds. Other parts of Dirty Wars find Scahill stateside, putting the pieces together and interviewing the few US government and military officials who will talk with him.
The key moments in the film are some jawdroppingly heartless quotes from US officials and scenes of children. The latter are survivors of the attacks that ravaged their families, or in the case of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, we see photos and video that are pretty much all that remains of the Colorado-born teenager.
Dirty Wars is more stylized than the average documentary. It's full of impressive visual flourishes, and Scahill is seen as a dogged, brooding hero, perhaps a muckraking cousin of Ryan Gosling in Drive.
Ideally, these mainstream-filmish qualities will help broaden domestic awareness of the violent horrors wrought by America's bipartisan political consensus.