Why We Fight | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Why We Fight

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This ambitious documentary by Eugene Jarecki (The Trials of Henry Kissinger) opens with President Eisenhower's prophetic 1961 farewell speech, which identified the military-industrial complex as a threat to democratic governance, and follows this premise through the events of 9/11 and the selling of the Iraq war. Jarecki listens respectfully to the right (Richard Perle, William Kristol) and the left (Gore Vidal, Charles Lewis) as they review 60 years of American realpolitik, but the movie's most affecting observations come from the private individuals he picks up along the way, from an orphaned kid who enlists in the army because he can't support himself to a Vietnamese refugee who designs bombing systems in Maryland to a retired New York City cop who lost his son on 9/11 and asked the Pentagon to inscribe the young man's name on a missile headed for Iraq. PG-13, 98 min. Reviewed this week in Section 1. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Landmark's Century Centre.

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