Currie’s Corner 656, September 13, 2018
Watching movies continues to one of the essential passions of my life, but the way we do that continues to evolve in most interesting ways. I am much more selective when it comes to movies, and this past summer I was genuinely frustrated when a picture called“Shock and Awe” sank like a stone. It played barely one week in theatres, and after that you couldn’t even find it in ‘prison and airplanes’.
For weeks I searched for it on pay sites like Video On Demand, but it has yet to show up there. Then I found it on that miraculous place called YouTube where you can essentially watch shows for nothing .
Directed by Rob Reiner, Shock and Awe details the efforts of the Washington bureau of Knight Ridder newspapers to find out why the administration of President George W. Bush decided to go to war with Iraq in 2003, even though there appeared to almost no connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden who masterminded the worst terrorist attack ever against the United States.
Reiner plays bureau chief John Walcott, and Woody Harrelson and James Marsden play Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel, the two reporters who did most of the legwork. Their efforts proved that the war in Iraq, and the removal of Saddam, was based almost entirely on lies. There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction and hundreds of thousand were killed in the conflict for reasons that made very little sense.
Landay and Strobel should have become household names, like Woodward and Bernstein, but even some of the papers owned by Knight Ridder refused to carry their work. They followed the lead of the New York Times who accepted the story that was put out by the Bush White House right down the line.
At a time when the efforts of journalists are valued less and less, and the business models of the mainstream media are continuing to fail, this is an important movie, and it’s good .
Thank you YouTube for making sure that it didn’t disappear.
I’m Roger Currie