CNN producer Robert Wiener, his colleague and their crew venture to the Iraqi capital to cover the Gulf War.CNN producer Robert Wiener, his colleague and their crew venture to the Iraqi capital to cover the Gulf War.CNN producer Robert Wiener, his colleague and their crew venture to the Iraqi capital to cover the Gulf War.
Interestingly, the weakest part of the movie is the director. Mick Jackson has a lot of experience (I'm amazed to find out that he directed Steve Martin's "L.A. Story"), but his work here falls into two distinct categories: workmanlike and/or irritating. The workmanlike scenes aren't so bothersome. But occasionally he'll pull a trick out of his hat, and it's always hackneyed - particularly his fascination with long shots of people staring. This is one of those art house things that you just have to suffer through, along with the excessively talky relationship between Wiener and Ingrid. It is a distinctly American conceit, as seen in such dreck as "Pearl Harbor", to take something as colossal as a war and use it as a backdrop for a hamfisted love story. I also found it a little unsettling that the reporters were laughing and slapping each other on the back after the bombing, while outside their relatively safe hotel people were picking their loved ones out of the rubble.
It is definitely a gigantic commercial for CNN, but you know that going in. The guy worked for CNN. If you watch a documentary about Colonel Sanders, you have to expect some fried chicken.
Some people have dismissed the film as propaganda; I must point out that while it does paint our involvement in the Gulf War in a positive light, it makes no reference to the modern situation except to state that Saddam Hussein is still in power. If you were against the war, then of course there's no way you will like this film. But if you were against it without knowing anything about it except some friend of yours said "we're doing it for oil!", then you should do quite a bit of research ... and this film is as good a place as any to start.
- Dec 16, 2002