Monday, July 23, 2007

No End In Sight

By Cernig

There's a new documentary due to hit screens next month called "No End In Sight". It's described as "a hard and impartial look at the handling of Iraq as told through exclusive interviews with the ultimate insiders." In contrast with Michael Moore's style, which has Moore as the "guide" and heavily relies on his own interpretations, this documentary has a more sparse format.

My good friend Kyle Moore, who is an ex-military man himself and blogs in fine style over at Comments From Left Field, has already seen the movie, and it affected him deeply.
No End In Sight, coming so raw and unfettered as it did, hit me like a sucker punch coming from nowhere, driving the wind from my lungs and leaving me panting helplessly on the mat. There is no face to tie the movie together; the film maker's voice is only even heard a few sparse times in interviews. The narrator's voice is flat, void of emotion, and minimal.

Graphics are kept to a minimum and when they are used they are basic, unsensational.

The overall effect is simply awe inspiring. In removing any and all flare on his part of the film making, what Charles Ferguson has created was a film in which the story tells itself. The footage, the interviews from ORHA and CPA officials and reporters and civillians, and the bare bones charts come together to weave a tapestry that is powerful and soul shattering.

Without immediately pushing an opinion, what we as an audience are treated to is an intriguing narrative running with an undercurrent of profound injustice and much deserved anger.

It's not merely a story of bad men doing bad things. That would be too simplified. Instead what Ferguson shows us is a story of good people trying to do good things and being thwarted at every turn. Col. Paul Hughes, who had been working on a nearly daily basis with Iraqi Army Officers in an attempt to find a place for them in post-Saddam Iraq, Richard Armitage and Col. Lawrence Wilkerson who had watched as the attempts by their office under Colin Powell tried to force sanity into the post war efforts and watch it crumble, General Jay Garner and Ambassador Barbara Bodine who were tasked with creating a new Iraqi government, and trying to do so out of stripped down and looted offices with minimal staff who didn't even know each other.

The missteps are enraging, futher exacerbated by the knowledge that we had people there trying to make it right the whole time, and watching as their hopes, their plans, were stepped on by the administration. And all this framed by a visual style that is unblinking in its horrific honesty.

Hughes one second is dismayed at finding out the Iraqi Army had been disbanded, lamenting at the loss of all those potential allies in the streets, ruing these thousands and thousands of armed men now out of work, the very next frame, a street explodes with the fury of an unleased IED.

There's no humor, no safe moments, no heavy exposition to make things simple for mass consumption, just a sheer onslought of truth hitting you harder and faster than you've come equipped to handle, and in the end, you'll see these faces when you close your eyes at night, the new truths you have learned will immediately leap to mind the moment you see the president hit your tv screen.

It is a story of gross and willful incompetence, and the awful aftermath.
Sounds like it's a "must see". Kyle has a clip over at "Comments" and you can get more clips here.

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