The War You Don't See Review


"The War You Don't See" by John Pilger
A Film Review by Alain English
This latest film by John Pilger looks at the role of the media in war reporting and asks how far reporters in the United States and Britain are prepared to go in order to report the truth.  He comes to some alarming conclusions.
Pilger reveals the basis for modern journalism in the army recruitment posters of World War I and how this has led to 'embedded' reporting in the recent Iraq war.  In 'embedded' reporting, the military and political powers control much of what the journalists see, hear and report in their war coverage.  This is contrasted with independent reporters who investigate for themselves, and often find themselves reporting events that the military powers try to keep secret - he highlights the 2004 US assaults on Falluja in Iraq and the bombing of Arab news network Al-Jazeera for revealing the truth.  Pilger also discusses Israel/Palestine, Barack Obama and Wikileaks throughout his film.
Pilger makes prolonged attacks on the BBC and ITV for not doing their jobs properly by confronting them with things they should have reported more carefully.  He is on fine form here, but there is little here that is anything new to anyone familiar with his work.  He has been arguing these things for years in his writing.  It is still highly compelling material.
Pilger makes effective use of cross-cutting interviews to make his point, although I thought a sequence where an American soldier detailed his Iraq experiences was too prolonged.
This is nevertheless an engaging film that rightly challenges the governments who use the media to perpetuate war.

◄ "I'll Be All Right Tomorrow" and "Touch" reviews


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Alain English

Sun 2nd Jan 2011 16:10

I disagree Banksy. Incompetent and greedy though our political and economic masters are, they operate with a definite agenda which Pilger tries to get to the root of and more often than not, he succeeds in exposing the lies of the powerful and the effect they have on innocent people caught in the crossfire. Though the powers-that-be have much intelligence and cunning, their agendas (as Pilger and others depict them) are very complex and take several years to implement.

John Pilger is not a wanker. He is a brave and principled man who stands up for the powerless against the powerful and for this he deserves to be commended.

<Deleted User> (7212)

Tue 21st Dec 2010 23:28

But unfortunately John Pilger is a wanker who sees a conspiracy round every corner when in reality most of what he reports is the normal run-of-the mill human greed & incompetence. If the superpowers had a fraction of the conniving intelligence that he credits them with, we'd probably have run out of wars to fight by now.
The lady pilger doth protest too much methinks (only my 2 dinars).B

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