Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War (2004) / Documentary
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but suitable for all audiences
Running Time: 56 min.
Director: Robert Greenwald
Filmmaker Robert Greenwald (Outfoxed, Breaking Up) attempts to shed light on the Bush agenda to get the United States into the Iraq war in Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War, an hour long documentary with snippets of interviews with many politicians and ex-CIA members who have insight into the nation of Iraq, and also of Washington D.C. The main message of the film is that the Bush administration sought war with Iraq as soon as they stepped into office, usurped enough power in trying to lay partial blame on Saddam Hussein for the attacks on 9/11, offered up antiquated or shoddy information in order to convince congress to vote for the war, and continue to misinform the American public with scare tactics (“mushroom cloud”, “Saddam is in cahoots with the terrorists”) about the necessity of a prolonged occupation.
Greenwald stays on point -- The rhetoric coming from the White House has changed over the months since going to war, from the original assertion that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and is on the verge of nuclear weapons, to them just having a program to make them, to they once had a program in the past. Basically, Greenwald asserts that the world has been sold a bag of phony goods, and that we continue to be misled by a group of people who have alternate motives on their agenda, and who got the United States into a quagmire that doesn’t really benefit anyone.
Well, actually, Greenwald doesn’t actually say any of this, wisely letting the experts speak for him, mixing clips of interviews with actual footage of speeches made by the administration about their excuses for their continued involvement in Iraq. It’s not an entertaining documentary so much as it is interesting. The film starts off with a roll call of all the participants in stating their name, occupation and years of service, and the film only touches on points that could probably spawn a series of documentaries in and of themselves. Yet, it does accomplish the mission it sets out to do -- maintain that the Iraq War was completely unnecessary, and that the path set out by the UN and its inspections were working.
Uncovered is a solid documentary, although not nearly as memorable as Fahrenheit 9/11 or as interesting and in-depth as The World According to Bush, but for news junkies who don’t mind a cavalcade of talking heads, it’s definitely a worthwhile watch. If you conclude that the Bush administration is lying to you, and it’s hard to imagine not coming away with that opinion based on the weight of the arguments presented here, then Greenwald has achieved success, and does so with mostly non-partisan expert sources. It’s an eye-opener for all viewers with an open mind.
On a side note, the October 2004 release on DVD contains 30 minutes of additional information previously unavailable at the time the original 56-minute documentary was released and is the version of choice for all interested.
©2004 Vince Leo