[Screenings of CONTROL ROOM can be accompanied by talks with director Jehane Noujaim]
Dir. Jehane Noujaim | 84 minutes | 2004 | documentary
In the early days of the war in Iraq, Americans could turn on their televisions twenty-four hours a day and take a front row seat with coalition troops careening across the desert. We could follow the action live as precision bombers brought Iraqi cities to their knees and American POWs were rescued and triumphantly returned home as television heroes. We could watch soldiers toppling statues of Saddam Hussein.
But as Americans witnessed U.S. victory at home, a different story unfolded on television sets throughout the Arab world. Qatari-based Al-Jazeera broadcast images of Iraqi civilian casualties and American POWs that were taboo in the American media. Many claim that as a result, America barred Al-Jazeera journalists from reporting on Wall Street and bombed their headquarters in Baghdad. As the saying goes there are always two sides to every story, but in a media-managed war where does the truth lie?
With exclusive behind-the-scenes access to Al-Jazeera, American journalists, and the players at Central Command, Control Room takes an unprecedented look at the business of war. Uniquely qualified with a cross-cultural perspective, Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim travels to the headquarters of Al-Jazeera and U.S. Central Command to capture the staging of the war in Iraq and the media’s vital role in writing history.