Movies You Missed & More: Dirty Wars
This week in movies you missed: We reach the end of this year's Oscar-nominated documentaries. Those are The Act of Killing, The Square, Cutie and the Boxer, 20 Feet From Stardom (which doesn't qualify as an MYM) and now this documentary about covert U.S. counterterrorism efforts from director Richard Rowley and journalist Jeremy Scahill.
What You Missed
Maverick war correspondent Jeremy Scahill (of the Nation) is hanging around Kabul, getting sick of reporting on canned news from the war zone. He heads out to rural Gardez, where a family tells him a harrowing story of the "American Taliban" soldiers who raided a celebration and killed several of them, including pregnant women.
Scahill starts digging into the evidence to find out who's responsible for this mistaken attack on Afghan civilians — and for covering it up. He learns about the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the elite unit that would later become famous for killing Osama bin Laden.
Scahill tries to return to his normal life in Brooklyn, but he just can't let the story go. He ends up traveling from Yemen to Somalia in search of victims of this covert U.S. counterterrorist effort, and meets with a Deep Throat-type informant who suggests that JSOC is actually creating more new terrorists than it eliminates.
All the while, our hero gets more and more scruffy and haggard, his eyes haunted by the specters of bereaved children and grieving parents. His attempts to speak truth to power net him lots of talk-show appearances, but little attention from Congress.