Control Room Review

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This film looks at the news coverage of the Iraq War offered by Arab TV station Al-Jazeera. Criticised by the Bush administration for showing American POWs and casualties, the station also shows Iraqi civilian casualties that the West ignores.

★★★★ co-director Jehane Noujaim concocts a captivating look at Arab TV station Al-Jazeera, condemned by the United States as the mouthpiece for Osama Bin Laden (or perhaps simply an inversion of the pro-American Fox News, as one army press officer tellingly realises), but who claim to show the human cost of the Iraq conflict. Given the increased role of the media in war over the past 15 years, and the almost minute-by-minute coverage that this one has received, it is a fascinating look at those who claim to bring us the facts.

It doesn't provide the whole story, but the role of information-handling in modern warfare couldn't be more impressively underlined.

Given the huge role of the media in the Second Gulf War, and the use of propaganda on both sides, this is a fascinating look at a side of the story we don't usually see.