Combustible Celluloid
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With: Samir Khader, Josh Rushing, Hassan Ibrahim, Deema Khatib, Tom Mintier, David Shuster
Written by: Julia Bacha, Jehane Noujaim
Directed by: Jehane Noujaim
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 84
Date: 01/01/2004

Control Room (2004)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Station to Station

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I caught up with this documentary near the end of the year at awardsseason. It's a canny and clever look at the Arab television news stationAl Jazeera, which was criticized by all sides for its biased reportingof the war in Iraq. Directed by Jehane Noujaim, this fascinating,explosive film -- utilizing plenty of American news footage of PresidentBush and Donald Rumsfeld in the days leading up to the war -- carefullyshows how both Al Jazeera and American news coverage use the exact samemethods to spin their version of the war. Even an American lieutenantstationed in Iraq comes to understand the nuances of propaganda-as-newsfrom both sides. This film will continue to be relevant long after thebickerings of 2004 are over.

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