Why We Fight
Eugene Jarecki, Roy Ackerman, Nick Frasert, Hans Robert Eisenhauer, Susannah Shipman, Eugene Jarecki, Etienne Sauret, May Ying Welsh, Nancy Kennedy, Robert Miller
He may have been the ultimate icon of 1950s conformity and postwar complacency, but Dwight D. Eisenhowser was an iconoclast, visionary, and the Cassandra of the New World Order. Upon departing his presidency, Eisenhower issued a stern, cogent warning about the burgeoning "military industrial complex," foretelling with ominous clarity the state of the world in 2004 with its incestuous entanglement of political, corporate, and Defense Department interests.
Deploying the general's farewell address as his strategic ground zero, Eugene Jarecki launches a full-frontal autopsy of how the will of a people has become an accessory to the Pentagon. Surveying the scorched landscape of a half-century's military misadventures and misguided missions, Jarecki asks how -- and tells why -- a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a system whose survival depends on a state of constant war.
Jarecki, whose previous film, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, took such an unblinking look at our ex-secretary of state, might have delivered his film in time for the last presidential election, but its timing is also its point: It does not matter who is in charge as long as the system remains immune from the checks and balances of a peace-seeking electorate. Brisk, intelligent, and often very, very human, Why We Fight is one of the more powerful films in this year's Festival, and certainly among the most shattering.