I was just re-watching Eugene Jarecki's terrific documentary Why We Fightthe other day and wondering, "man, how did this not win an Oscar?" Both its ineligibility and the strength of the 2006 feature documentary category aside, it's a really great visual essay on the problems of the U.S. military -- particularly the allowance for the military industrial complex to grow so large -- since the mid-20th century. If you've never seen it, you should. It'll bring you up to speed right up to the Iraq War (and feel free to make it an informative double feature by following it up with Charles Ferguson's No End in Sight).

For his next feature, Jarecki is sticking to the subject of war, though he's going back and focusing on Vietnam, specifically the evacuation of U.S. troops from Saigon in 1975 (maybe it can parallel an exit from Iraq? huh? maybe?). He and screenwriter Jesse Wigutow (It Runs in the Family) are basing the doc, titled Irreparable Harm, on former CIA agent Frank Snepp's book "Irreparable Harm: A Firsthand Account of How One Agent Took on the CIA in an Epic Battle Over Free Speech," which details the author's struggle with the federal government after he published his Saigon evacuation document, "Decent Interval."

Jarecki's film, which is being produced for HBO Films, will be more about Snepp than on the history, and hopefully that won't get him in trouble with the feds too. Also, here's hoping that Irreparable Harm at least makes Jarecki eligible to be nominated for the Oscar he deserves.
categories Movies, Cinematical