Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Richard Rowley|
|Produced by||Anthony Arnove
|Screenplay by||Jeremy Scahill
|Based on||Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield
by Jeremy Scahill
|Narrated by||Jeremy Scahill|
|Music by||David Harrington|
|Edited by||Richard Rowley|
|Distributed by||Sundance Selects|
|Running time||86 minutes|
Dirty Wars is a 2013 American documentary film based on the book Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill. The film is directed by Richard Rowley based on a screenplay written by Scahill and David Riker.
Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill travels to Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and other countries where the United States has taken military action. In Afghanistan, he investigates the United States military and government cover-up of the deaths of five civilians, including two pregnant women killed by US soldiers from the Joint Special Operations Command. He also investigates the U.S. assassination of an American citizen named Anwar al-Awlaki. The documentary also shares testimonies from CIA agents, Special Forces operators, military generals, and warlords backed by United States.
The film was released in four theaters in New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC on June 7, 2013. Over the opening weekend, it grossed an estimated $66,000, a theater average of $16,500.
Dirty Wars received critical acclaim. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes certified the film as "fresh" with a score of 84% based on 61 reviews. Metacritic rated the film 76 based on 18 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". The film obtained a high score of 7.4 out of 10 from the aggregation of more than 4000 votes at the Internet Movie Database.
Trevor Johnston found the film to be a "gripping investigative doc, which plays out like a classic conspiracy thriller as it follows a trail of clues to the heart of darkness behind President Obama’s good-guy facade. Scahill may not have the screen charisma of a Hollywood leading man, but he has the integrity to keep on pushing at closed doors even after threats are made to his personal security. He also widens his focus to include Yemen and Somalia and draws a pattern of state-sanctioned assassination by unchecked US special forces and their mercenary hirelings."
However, Douglas Valentine found "...the film is so devoid of historical context, and so contrived, as to render it a work of art, rather than political commentary. And as art, it is pure self-indulgence."
Dirty Wars was nominated for a 2013 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film won the 2013 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue, ADR and Music in a Feature Documentary, given by the Motion Picture Sound Editors society.
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- 2014 Golden Reel Award Winners: TV/Feature Animation & Documentary Category