Release Date: September 8th, 2006 (Quad Cinema) by Brave New Films.
Directed by Robert Greenwald.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about big American corporations that unethically profited from the war in Iraq.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Iraq for Sale doesn’t reveal anything particularly surprising about greedy corporations or political corruption. However, it does make a logical, powerful statement that something has to be done to end corporations’ exploitation of the war in Iraq. The U.S. government hires companies such as Blackwater, Halliburton and CACI to send private contractors into Iraq to provide the military with a wide variety of services such as food, laundry, transportation, residence and even interrogations. Essentially, companies find many ways to overcharge the government through these services as well as others that aren’t really needed, such as an attendant who logs soldiers onto computers for internet access. During interviews, soldiers admit that their food has been too plentiful and rather fancy. They have no choice but to use the horrible laundry service that still leaves their clothes dirty. Military personnel drive a car worth $250,000—without keeping it— when it can be bought for 1/10 of that price in America. A few contractors interviewed admit that they didn’t have any training in interrogating Iraqis and that they had no idea what they were getting into in the first place. In powerful scenes, Iraqis recall how they were tortured in the most horrific ways imaginable. Director Robert Greenwald does an excellent job of showing the link between the incompetence of private contractors, corporate greed and political ties in the government. President George W. Bush avoided a direct question about the skill of private contractors in Iraq; he just called it a good question that he plans to ask Donald Rumsfeld at some point--this further shows Bush’s own incompetence. Stay tuned through the end credits for scenes showing how Blackwater, Halliburton and CACI declined interviews in the least professional ways.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It’s sad that corporations unethically put the value of profit over the value of human lives, especially during wartime. They should all go back to business school to learn that ethics should have a part in financial decisions. Many families must deal with their loved ones wrongfully dying at war because of these corporations’ negligence. What’s even more alarming is that these companies won’t even respond to accusations against them and, instead, continue to exploit the war like a bunch of greedy, immature, corrupt yet powerful bastards. By the end of this film, you’ll surely and rightfully feel infuriated against them.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: A powerful and unsettling documentary.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "I" Menu