Sundance Film Review: Dirty Wars

Posted January 20, 2013 in

Photo Credit: Richard Rowley

Dirty Wars

Sundance Film Festival

Director: Richard Rowley

Director Richard Rowley shadows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill into the secretive world of covert military operations in the Middle East as the United States attempts to win the war on terror no matter the means or consequences. It is a documentary about “the seen and the unseen” according to Scahill’s monotone and dreary narration. After examining an attack on a small village in Afghanistan involving an American trained Afghani police officer and two pregnant woman, Scahill unearths an incredible dark side to the armed forces’ actions, which, in turn, spirals into an out-of-control tale of illegal killings of innocent civilians spanning outside the war zone and into countries where no documented wars have been declared. Rowley and Scahill refuse to dilute the subject, and they shouldn’t, as they present images of the victims’ lifeless bodies sprawled across charred landscapes. These are certainly images that can’t be unseen or forgotten. With films like “Zero Dark Thirty” gaining critical-acclaim as it concentrates on the more justified military actions, Rowley focuses on the darker side of combat as he chases a mysterious elite group of soldiers known as the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) as they essentially take control of the entire war. With inside contacts revealing their horrifying encounters with the U.S. government’s past and current leaders, Rowley forces audiences to question whether at times they should be so proud to be an American.


Time: 1.21, 9:00 PM Venue: Salt Lake City Library, SLC

Time: 1.24, 11:30 AM Venue: Prospector Square Theatre, Park City

Time: 1.26, 11:45 AM Venue: Library Center Theatre, Park City

Photo Credit: Richard Rowley Photo Credit: Richard Rowley Photo Credit: Richard Rowley Photo Credit: Richard Rowley