Control Room: Film Critique
Control Room, a documentary on the Arab satellite network Al Jazeera’s and the war between the Iraq organization Al-Quaeda and the United States military. The film takes us deep within the headquarters of all the media corporations involved; There are also several interviews with reporters and soldiers themselves but generally the film elaborates on the connection between media and war. The film presents the idea that war can and will effect our media and perhaps that the media will affect the war therefore information about the war in Canada would be completely different from the information in Iraq. Through out the film we see the “media war” between Arab media (mainly Al Jazeera) and the United States administration. The film and it’s title go very well together because as the film progresses it discuss’ the idea, who is in control? Like the control room of a news studio this room has all the angles, all the sound and controls everything we see. Therefore the title is very effective like the film which helps us try to understand what happened in Iraq and why? Being as unbiased as they can these Arab reporters give us all the angles of the story, the sounds/interview of people there while providing the raw and uncut footage needed to make an impact.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) is where lots of footage and interviews of soldiers and reporters are taken place in the film. In making an information packed movie while trying not to just feed the audience facts the filmmaker Jehane Noujaim did a great job at keeping the audience engaged. Like the reporters filmed in this movie Jehane Noujaim is from the middle east, Egypt to be specific. Now an Egypt and American citizen Jehane must of had trouble not being bias on either side. The reporters were the one with the biggest challenge. In the film you can see the anger and emotion behind all these Arab and middle eastern reporters because they are reporting the attack of their home country. Being bias is in our blood because as humans we protect and fight for what we believe in and where we come from. Therefore one strength in the film is how both opinions/sides (American & Arab) of the events taking place are shown and given there own spotlight, as a result letting the audience make their own judgments. These reporters must be as objective as possible, to give the world a unbiased and real truthful look at what is happening. I didn’t see or notice anything weak in the film apart from the fact that it felt out dated. This Film is about events that have taken place almost 10 years from now so therefore some of the footage isn’t as crisp and perfect as in a Hollywood studios some expect from movies. That being said I thought the blurring images of the war and the shacky cameras gave you the feel that you were right there in the action, this really got me engaged in the film even more.