Saturday, July 12, 2008

Charles Ferguson’s No End in Sight

“No End in Sight,” Charles Ferguson’s exacting, enraging new film, may signal a shift in emphasis, a move away from the immediacy of cinéma vérité toward overt political argument and historical analysis. Not that these have been scarce over the past few years, as an ever- growing shelf of books can testify. Among Mr. Ferguson’s interview subjects are the authors of some of those books — notably Nir Rosen (“In the Belly of the Green Bird”), James Fallows (“Blind Into Baghdad”) and George Packer (“The Assassins’ Gate”) — and his film in effect offers a summary of some of their conclusions.

Mr. Ferguson, a former Brookings Institution scholar with a doctorate in political science, presents familiar material with impressive concision and impact, offering a clear, temperate and devastating account of high-level arrogance and incompetence.
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