Further viewing suggestions from Rajiv Chandrasekaran

March 12, 2010|By Michael Sragow | michael.sragow@baltsun.com | Sun Movie Critic

Rajiv Chandrasekaran's tips for "further viewing" after "Green Zone" include:

"No End in Sight"Charles Ferguson's 2007 documentary argues, persuasively, that the Iraqi insurgency could have been slowed, halted or contained, and daily life made infinitely safer for Iraqis, if the Bush administration listened to American public servants with solid military and Middle East experience. "It's a very powerful documentary," says Chandrasekaran, "and one of the chief reasons for its power is that you hear from the principal players on all policies and from all sides."

" Frontline: Bush's War" This two-part "Frontline" documentary is, says Chandrasekaran, "one of the best things out there about both the run-up to the war and the mismanagement after the Americans got there." In it, a CIA analyst who helped draft a WMD report acknowledges, "The purpose was to strengthen the case for going to war with the American public. Is it proper for the intelligence community to publish papers with that purpose? I don't think so."

"Three Kings" George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze star as U.S. soldiers right after the first Persian Gulf war. They start hunting for an Iraqi stash of stolen Kuwaiti gold - and end up protecting Hussein's grass-roots opponents when the rest of the U.S. military abandons them. "I watched this fun movie with some journalist friends in the al-Rasheed Hotel when Saddam was still in power," says Chandrasekaran. It's a detail he was tempted to put in his book.

"We were sure our rooms were bugged. We popped the movie into the DVD player in my computer, poured ourselves some vodka, cranked up the volume as loud as we could, and watched 'Three Kings.' It was a wonderful subversive act. I'm not sure that movie would make my top 10, but it got at some of the truths of that time using a fictional story line. And watching it over there was something special."

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