The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated Dirty Wars for an Oscar. Dirty Wars won the Cinematography Award for US Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival 2013 and, recently, the Grand Jury Prize at the Boston Independent Film Festival. Variety calls the film "jaw-dropping ... [with] the power to pry open government lockboxes." One Sundance juror said, "This film blew me away from the first shot. It is one of the most stunning looking documentaries I've ever seen."
On June 7, the film — directed by Rick Rowley — was released in theaters. Nation Institute fellow Jeremy Scahill is the writer, with David Riker, and a producer of the documentary. The film is narrated by Scahill, who authored the George Polk Book Award-winning Blackwater.
Scahill's eponymous book was released by Nation Books and reached #5 on the New York Times bestseller list. The enhanced ebook for Dirty Wars as well, which features over thirty images, film stills from the documentary, short videos, exclusive photographs of Scahill's reporting in Yemen and Somalia, and interactive color maps.
Dirty Wars follows Scahill into the heart of America's covert wars, from Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia, and beyond. What begins as an investigation into a US night raid gone terribly wrong in a remote corner of Afghanistan quickly transforms into a high-stakes global investigation into one of the most secretive and powerful military units in American history. With a strong cinematic style, the film unfolds like an action movie wrapped around a complex detective story. As Scahill digs deeper into the activities of the most secret and elite fighting force in US history, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), he is forced to confront painful truths about the consequences of a war without end that extends through Republican and Democratic administrations.
Watch the trailer:
Dirty Wars was a "Critics' Pick" in the New York Times, "Pessimistic, grimly outraged and utterly riveting…Like Inside Job Charles Ferguson's incendiary expose of Wall Street malpractice, Dirty Wars cuts to the chase." The film was also reviewed in the Washington Post: "Scahill certainly knows how to spin a yarn. Not that Dirty Wars feels fabricated in any way. It is meticulously researched and documented…. Shocking stuff." Since the theatrical release, the movie has been reviewed in many other publications and websites, including NPR, the Seattle Times, Politico, and TimeOut NY.