Control Room

Posted by barb on Jun 24, 2004 in Movies |

I had first heard of Control Room through the Beyond the Multiplex series on Salon. I was surprised when Andrew metioned that a local theater was showing it, and he’d like to go.

Control Room is a documentary on the Arab TV channel, Al-Jazeera. It begins in March 2003, just before the US “military operations” in Iraq. We follow things at the control room in Qatar but also at the American “CentCom” (Central communications) where the American military attempts to control the media output of the war. We also see the Al-Jazeera reporter in Baghdad, which has not been adequately explained (a bit of a coincidence that an Al-Jazeera reporter and two other reporters were killed during the same campaign).

Is Al-Jazeera slanted? Duh. But no more so than, say, FOX or CNN are slanted in favor of the US. Equally interesting to the difference in reporting styles of the Arab and US is the stories of the employees at Al-Jazeera. For example, the senior producer confessed that he would take a job at FOX News in a second if they offered and he would “trade the Arab nightmare for the American dream.” He plans on sending his children to university in the US and have them stay.

Thought-provoking film. Of course, though, the right people won’t see it.

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