Film Reviews

“The War You Don’t See”

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By Salwa Al Khatib | 24.03.2011



At a time in history when war is all we seem to see on the news, from Palestine, to Iraq to Afghanistan to Sudan and beyond, it seems unlikely that there are any wars that ‘we do not see’ as award winning journalist John Pilger professes in his latest documentary film for the Cinema, “The War You Don’t See”.

A closer look at his new documentary reveals that there is a great war going on and has been going on since the first world war that we truly do not see.

Yet this war is not in one country or place, it is not about a particular conflict but rather about the image of “war” portrayed in the media, about the war that Rupert Murdoch, the BBC, CNN and co inflict on its viewers every day – the war against the truth.

Documentary films have done little to ‘change’ people’s views of war, not because they are not produced but rather because they are rarely if ever shown to the masses or broadcast by large TV networks, so Pilger’s latest film being broadcast on ITN, a mainstream Channel was a unique and rare occurrence.

Name: The War You Don’t See

Type: Documentary FilmBy: John Pilger

Released on DVD

Watch the Trailer









When John Pilger makes a documentary it is hard to ignore. As much as many networks and broadcasters want to dismiss Pilger’s work, his ethics, minute details and ferocious research into his subject makes him too credible to shove in the pile of ‘crazy leftists’ that others with similar objectives but different presentation find themselves in.

Pilger’s latest offering is an in depth look at how war has been reported in British and American news networks and the effects the media has had in allowing these wars to continue unquestioned by the masses.

“See all those people down there, light them all up… come on fire”

As the film begins we see a clip from 2007 that was released by the infamous Wiki Leaks website in 2010 causing an uproar around the world: “See all those people down there, light them all up… come on fire” Says the soldier about the civilians in the streets of war torn Iraq just as the shooting begins, almost like a computer game not a real life event.

The fact that the clip was leaked by Julian Assange through Wiki Leaks and was previously hidden from the public by the large media conglomerates instantly puts the viewer in no doubt that major events relating to the war in Iraq were and are still hidden from their view by the mainstream. Pilger goes on to argue that that is precisely why whistle blowers such as Assange are indispensable in a time of war.


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* Published in the Fifth Issue of Political Reflection Magazine (PR).


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