And that is what sets this film apart from FAHRENHEIT 911 and others. First, thereís no narration to push a particular belief or idea (something Michael Moore should look into). It tells you the facts and clearly gives both sides of the argument a chance to defend themselves. Itís up to the viewer to decide which side to believe. Of course, if you take everything said in any film as cold, hard fact, then your problems go far beyond the reach of this reviewer.
The only time the film lacks is when it follows the story of a young man enlisting into the Army (William). It didnít have the annoying commentary, but it did feel very ďMoore-ishĒ. It didnít fit into the film and it threw off the otherwise excellent pacing. I also felt it needed more involvement from other ranking military officials and politicians. I wouldíve liked to hear from numerous people, but the simple truth is that most high ranking military officer lost their courage to speak out shortly after signing up.
But what I liked most about this film is that it asked a question that most citizens have never asked themselves before. It asked how much of a part does the average American citizen play in war? Or as I like to say it; how large is your war footprint? Hopefully your answer doesnít make you as nauseous as mine made me. Itís easy to blame the guy who dropped the bomb that killed hundreds of innocent women and children, but what about the gal that sewed that pilotís flight suit?
Deleted Scenes (30:01): These are all very good scenes. However, Iím glad they were cut because some of them really need to be backed up with a bibliography. They make some claims that need support and the filmmakers donít provide that. Scenes like this can ruin a perfectly good documentary.
The Characters (13:31): This is a nice look at all of the ďaverageĒ characters featured in the film. For those that were wondering, William is doing fine, although he is stuck in Alaska. If you liked the film and you cared about the characters, then this is definitely worth your time. Itís kind of a ďwhere are they nowĒ featurette.
Talking About Why We Fight (12:53): Jarecki comes off a little preachy in this question and answer featurette. He starts by saying his goal with the film was to inform and not change minds, but then he gets on a kick about the government spending too much money on defense. It also proves that high school kids arenít getting any smarter.
The Daily Show Appearance (7:04): I really like Jon Stewart, so of course I liked this. They try to stay serious and he says all the things that Iíve already talked about. Itís worth it for Jon Stewart.
Charlie Rose Appearance (9:00): I also really like Charlie Rose, but for much different reasons. Heís great at letting his interviewee talk. Jarecki does a good job here of talking about his film and what he wants people to get from it.