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Documentary Movie “Why We Fight” Essay

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Updated: May 7th, 2019

Why We Fight is a 2005 documentary movie directed by Eugene Jarecki, an author and a dramatic documentary film maker, his other works include Trials of Henry Kissinger, Freakonomics, Reagan, the House I live in amongst others. Why We Fight won the grand Jury award in the year 2005.

The movie title is based on the World War II period when series of movies attempting to explain and justify the reasons behind American going in to war. The title can be read as a question or as well as a declaration as to why America engage in war activities. It was first screened in the year 2005 on January 17. This was exactly 40 years after President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address.

The movie opens with a famous speech by President Dwight. In his speech, President Dwight warned that America must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence and by the industrial complex of the military, as this might result in the rise of the misplaced powers which could be disastrous. One of the most conspicuous images is the tablet where the famous speech was written, scratched out words.

Years later, America finds itself in the verge of war with Iraq for reasons not yet clear to many Americans. Questions the raised, over whether the war has resolved the conflicts or led to its acceleration, has the freedom that was the reason behind the war has been achieved. Eugene Jarecki provides a thoughtful analysis on how the United States is alert for war, how and the reasons behind a nation going in to war.

Movie features interviews with prominent persons who are experienced in wars and policies around the war issues. They include military pentagon people, congress members, military planners, advisors on security matters amongst many others as they engage in an attempt to explain the philosophy of the American wars and how they have changed since the world war II.

Jarecki seems to have a good idea of the reasons as to why Americans engage in wars. He rephrases Calvin Coolidge words, that the chief business of the people of America is business. Jarecki argues that the business is war.

It is a well told story, with a lot of energy, using images that have been obtained from the news archives, educational and military films and as well original materials. The movie portrays scenes of bombs explosions and experts engaged in a discussion to try and un-puzzle the reasons and the philosophy behind the American wars. All those commenting seem smart and aware, thus they convincingly explain the above.

An instance to remember is when Mr. Vidal states that Truman detonated the Japan bomb to scare Stalin and instigate war with the communist. This was despite the fact that Japanese were on the verge of surrender. It is a movie whereby everyone seems to be smart and thus it becomes difficult to differentiate the truth from the fiction. It presents a battalion of experts all giving analysis of the historical overviews of the politics and war.

A notable character of the filmmaker is the fact that he does not struggle to stay with the journalism objectivity as it is the case with many non fictional writers. He uses his skills in archiving and interviews to deliver his message in the film. The writer argues that American militarism is simply the talk of democracy and freedom; simply a question of money.

He uses a retired soldier, Wilton Sekzer, who lost his son on September 11 and thus in vengeance supports the war. He asserts that the governments goes to war for profit purposes and sell the lies to us to justify and make it look right thus dragging the people in the war. He then comforts people with the facts that they can blame the war on the president simply because they did not have anything to do with the war.

The movie is rated 13 and parental guidance is highly recommended as it contain scenes of war and explosions.

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1. IvyPanda. "Documentary Movie "Why We Fight"." May 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/why-we-fight/.


IvyPanda. "Documentary Movie "Why We Fight"." May 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/why-we-fight/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Documentary Movie "Why We Fight"." May 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/why-we-fight/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Documentary Movie "Why We Fight"'. 7 May.

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