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Movie review: 'Dirty Wars' exposes dark side of 'War on Terror'

Published June 28, 2013 12:11 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The documentary "Dirty Wars" centers on Jeremy Scahill, a reporter on a mission: to expose the unsavory — and probably unconstitutional — things done in our name as part of the "War on Terror."

Those things include secret raids against unarmed civilians in Afghanistan, undeclared war in nations such as Yemen, and the ordered killing of U.S. citizens without trial or conviction.

Scahill, a war correspondent mostly writing for The Nation, narrates the documentary, sort of an impressionist investigatory exposé, that uncovers uncomfortable truths about what the Bush and Obama administrations have done without public or media scrutiny.

Director Richard Rowley occasionally gets in the way of Scahill's narrative, creating an atmosphere more like a detective thriller than a static documentary, with Scahill's dogged reporting as the thread uniting stories of secret operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.

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'Dirty Wars'

Opens Friday, June 28, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; not rated, but probably PG-13 for war images; 90 minutes.