The independent movie “The Last War Crime” begins with a docudrama presentation of the events of September 11, 2001, using actual quotations where available, actual NYPD helicopter footage the production team had to sue to get, and using dramatic license to fill in the blanks where necessary. The film then transitions to an entirely fictional section in which the writer, producer and director, a person known only as The Pen, speculates on what would happen if a courageous US district attorney, who stumbles on a trail of evidence leading to Dick Cheney as the mastermind behind the torture that has occurred in Iraq, struggles to do something about what he has found out.
Apparently, Big Media, perhaps in cahoots with the government, does not deem such speculation to be fit for US audiences. For even though “The Last War Crime” was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2012, existence of the film is hardly known here. YouTube has removed a trailer for the film several times. (Thousands of direct protests supposedly forced You Tube to back down, but a search for “The Last War Crime” trailer, on January 26, 2014, yielded only two clips of scenes from the movie in April 2011 before it went to post production, and nothing that could properly be called a trailer. MTV, owned by Viacom, refused to allow a paid ad for the movie to run on its Times Square jumbotron. A talk radio station in Washington, DC, refused an ad for the movie because it was too “controversial.” In 2012, a lawsuit was filed in the District of Columbia Federal District Court against the radio station and its parent chain, alleging political speech discrimination.
So what is the controversy? Much of what is presented in the opening sequences concerning 9/11 and its aftermath are public record. For example, we know that the event was used as a reason to invade Iraq because, 15 minutes after the Pentagon was attacked, Donald Rumsfeld, who was on site at the time, asked for information on Iraq. Dick Cheney has openly admitted on talk shows that he favored waterboarding. But apparently, Cheney’s admissions can only be tied to some kind of superpatriot act he puts on. We are not allowed to really think about the deep meaning of what he is saying.
The film connects these dots that the government wishes we would leave alone. Even though Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 and even though he did not have weapons of mass destruction—and UN inspectors pointed this out—we invaded Iraq, and tortured people. While the press was focused on the low-level low lifes who did the foul deeds at places like Abu Gharib prison, investigating just how high up the orders to torture came from was not something that was encouraged.
“The Last War Crime” imagines someone pursuing that line of investigation and here is where it gets interesting because it turns into a well crafted drama about how a fired district attorney gets evidence before a grand jury to indict Cheney, and how that indictment becomes an arrest warrant. Even the explanations of the legal issues, including the jurisdiction of the grand jury to consider the matter, are presented in a clear, and dramatically interesting way.
Production values are generally very good and the actors portraying well-known people bear a resemblance to their real world counterparts, something that I really appreciate in dramas based on real events.
To get further word out on this thought-provoking movie, “the peace team” has been giving out screener DVDs to people who are willing to host viewing parties or review the film. This is the way that the people can bypass the censors and gatekeepers who have been in business since 9/11. People who are interested in doing this must promise not to put the film online so that it can still have a chance for a real theatrical release. If you would like to help get the word out, contact: “The Last War Crime” movie screeners:.
“The peace team” is starting pre-production on a full length feature film on Citizen’s United.