Shifting Sands vs Power & Terror

September 1st, 2003 DVD Reviews, Film, Filmink

Power & Terror

Distributor: Madman

Features: Additional Lectures, Noam Chomsky bio, crew bios, trailers.

In Shifting Sands

Distributor: Madman

Features: Bio of filmmaker Scott Ritter, map of Iraq, trailers, books by the filmmaker

Whether you’re a left wing liberal or not, both these films are essential viewing as they’re part of a grave necessity nowadays — opposing voices to the accepted consensus (read; Western) of history.

Noam Chomsky as usual comes to the fore in a mostly amateurish film, but don’t watch it for the ridiculous Japanese pop soundtrack or the crap editing — hearing Chomsky’s vast intellect and sense of reason & justice is an education everyone needs

He deftly shines a torch on the massive holes and injustices in the 50 year US-led policy of cultural and political conquest (currently labeled the War on Terrorism) in a calm and straightforward way — a nice change in itself from the hysterical rhetoric of geopolitical politics.

The DVD gives you the best possible extras it can; excerpts from more recent lectures Chomsky has given on the topics of the time, and we’re spared any more of director John Junkerman’s ‘filmmaking’.

Just as important but without quite the whole story is In Shifting Sands, which tells the untold story of the UNSCOM weapons inspectors’ constant battle against Iraqi and American bureaucracy and power-playing over the last ten years.

Made by (and featuring) the former Inspection team leader Scott Ritter — dismissed buy Richard Butler at the end of the 90’s for not giving the whole game over to the Americans — it’s an insightful expose of how the US manipulates any institution it can to further its interests (like we needed an expose to tell us that).

Ritter (quite rightly) tells the tale about how Iraq continually offered proof that it had disarmed according to the UN embargo, but that US interference has kept the sanctions that have killed millions in place for a decade. What the film doesn’t do however is take one step back and ask whether the UN was right in demanding Iraq disarm in the first place. After all, if every nation who aggressively invaded another was made to disarm, the American government wouldn’t have a water pistol to call their own.

In Shifting Sands has no extras worth writing home about, but both discs have trailers that will appeal if you like what you’re about to watch. They’re both well worth seeing, but Noam Chomsky always goes right to the source of the debate at hand. His knowledge of what they keep out of the news is staggering, and anything he says wins by a mile.


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