On Oct. 22, UCSB Arts & Lectures will be hosting a screening of the Sundance award-winning political documentary “Dirty Wars.” The conspiracy film follows investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill as he journeys through dangerous areas in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia in search of the gruesome truth behind the American war on terror.

Based on Scahill’s book of the same title and presented as a compelling detective thriller, “Dirty Wars” seeks to expose the covert killing of thousands of innocent families. Scahill interviews devastated Afghani widows and parents, orphaned children, Muslim-American terrorist suspects, American commanders and soldiers, members of the U.S. government, Somali warlords and Yemeni laborers, people whose lives are defined by the violent warfare surrounding them every day.

The innovative film fuses together gritty realism, poignant anthropological analysis and the unique aesthetic of Middle Eastern music and terrain to frame a significant global story that questions the heroics of war.

Scahill’s seamless combination of intimate dialogues and appalling military footage humanizes the abstract, mechanical system of “war” that those of us here in the States often feel distanced and detached from. The documentary confronts a familiar, controversial topic by unmasking the twisted face of American militarism that hides beneath the chatter of the press and the White House.

Students can take in this enlightening and beautifully-shot documentary for just $5 at our own Campbell Hall.



 A version of this article appeared on page 10 of Thursday October 17th’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.