Please, please look at the trailer for Charles Ferguson‘s No End in Sight (Magnolia, 7.27.07 in NYC — 8.3 or 8.10 in Los Angeles), and then go to the site and read the synopsis and reviews. Having seen it last Friday, I can say I’ve never been made to feel so real-world enraged by a movie in all my life. Ferguson’s merciless analysis of the Bush administration’s handling of the ever-worsening situation in Iraq beginning in May 2003 is truly sickening.
As of this writing, No End in Sight is an absolute contender for Best Feature Documentary. I had a somewhat thorough but not very detailed grasp of the situation in Iraq before seeing it. After seeing it I felt as if someone had leaned over and turned the lens and sharpened the focus. I’m hoping to speak with Ferguson later this week by phone, and then do a sitdown with him in Los Angeles later this month. I know full well that 97% of the moviegoers out there will do the typical vegetable thing — i.e, will never see it, never rent the DVD, never think about it. It would be nice if some would think about responding differently.
The website copy doesn’t lie: No End in Sight “is a jaw-dropping, insider’s tale of wholesale incompetence, recklessness and venality. Based on over 200 hours of footage, the film examines the manner in which the principal errors of U.S. policy — the use of insufficient troop levels, allowing the looting of Baghdad, the purging of professionals from the Iraqi government, and the disbanding of the Iraqi military — largely created the insurgency and chaos that engulf Iraq today.”
The most venal character the film is L. Paul Bremer, who was appointed by Donald Rumsfeld to be the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. He exercised authority over Iraq’s civil administration from 5.11.03 to 6.28.04. Bremer’s decision to disband the Iraqi Army and remove Ba’ath party members from top government posts “helped create and worsen an atmosphere of discontent,” according to his Wikipedia page.