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War Made Easy

How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death

War Made Easy

Duration: 72 min
ISBN: 1-932869-13-1
Date Produced: 2007
Subtitles: English

Filmmaker Info
Study Guide
Transcript
Press Room
Film Festivals
Press Reviews
Praise for the Film




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War Made Easy
How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death


"Superb." -- Howard Zinn

"A Tour de Force." -- Jay Cassidy, editor, An Inconvenient Truth

This critically acclaimed look at American war propaganda exhumes five decades of remarkable archival footage to show how presidents from both parties have relied on fear-driven political spin and craven media complicity to sell a succession of wars to the American people. The result is an invaluable introduction to how propaganda, public relations, and perception management function in democratic societies. Essential viewing for courses in media studies, political science, journalism, and U.S. history.

Narrated by Sean Pean, and based on the bestselling book by renowned media analyst Norman Solomon.

Norman Solomon

Norman Solomon is the author of several books and of a weekly nationally syndicated column on media and politics, "Media Beat". Solomon is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a national consortium of policy researchers and analysts. Solomon has appeared as a guest on many media outlets including the PBS NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, public radio's Marketplace, and NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation.

Click here to watch Norman Solomon discussing War Made Easy on C-SPAN

Filmmaker Info

Directed & Written by: Loretta Alper & Jeremy Earp
Produced by: Loretta Alper
Co-produced & Edited by: Andrew Killoy
Executive Producers: Jeremy Earp & Sut Jhally
Associate Producer: Jason Young
Narrated by: Sean Penn
Based on the book by Norman Solomon

Film Festivals

2011 Pan African Film Festival
2010 PSBT Open Frame (New Delhi)
2009 Tri Continental Film Festival (New Delhi)
2008 Milano Film Festival
2008 One World Berlin Human Rights Film Festival
2008 Festival of Liberties (Brussels)
2008 Tri-Contintental Film Festival (South Africa)
2008 Festival Documentaire de Lasalle
2008 International Human Rights Film Festival (Paris)
2008 Ljubljana International Film Festival
2008 Mumbai International Film Festival
2008 Northwest Film Forum
2007 Montreal World Film Festival
2007 Vancouver International Film Festival
2007 Northampton Independent Film Festival
2007 International Documentary Film Festival (Amsterdam)

Press Reviews

JEFF COHEN'S SHORTLIST
Media Rights | June 11, 2008

'WAR MADE EASY': MEDIA LAP DOGS BACKED IRAQ MESS
ABC News| Susan Donaldson James| March 19, 2008

IN HONOR OF THE LYING MILITARY ANALYSTS FOR CABLE TV
John Amato | Crooks and Liars | April 22, 2008

YESTERDAY'S PAPERS
Samantha Campos | Pacific Sun | April 11, 2008

EASY AS PIE
Michael Janusonis | The Providence Journal | March 28, 2008

WAR MADE EASY
Ryan Scott | PopMatters | March 26, 2008

WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?
John Linn | New Times Broward-Palm Beach | March 24, 2008

SPINNING CONFLICT
Jeannette Catasoulis | New York Times | March 14, 2008

WAR MADE EASY
The NYC Movie Guru | March 14, 2008

WAR MADE EASY
Frederic Brussat & Mary Ann Brussat | Spirituality & Practice | March 2008

WAR MADE EASY
V.A. Musetto | New York Post | March 14, 2008

WAR MADE EASY
Louis Proyect| The Unrepentant Marxist | March 14, 2008

WAR MADE EASY
Dustin L. Nelson | Film-Forward.com | March 14, 2008

WAR MADE EASY REVIEW
Ken Fox | TV Guide | March 2008

'WAR MADE EASY' DEFERRING TO MEDIA CRITICISM
Williams Cole | The Brooklyn Rail | March 2008

SEAN PENN NARRATES EXPOSE OF MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
Kam Williams | The Sly Fox | March 12, 2008

WAR MADE EASY'S NONPARTISAN IRAQ SKEWERING
Aaron Hillis | Village Voice | March 11, 2008

WAR MADE EASY
Bill Weber | Slant Magazine | March 11, 2008

A WINNING ARGUMENT: LORETTA ALPER AND JEREMY EARP'S WAR MADE EASY
Michael Joshua Rowin | IndieWIRE | March 9, 2008

WAR MADE EASY
Dennis Dermody | Papermag.com | March 1, 2008

WAR MADE EASY
Judge Daniel MacDonald | DVD Verdict | February 14, 2008

DVD TALK REVIEW
Chris Neilson | DVD Talk | January 28, 2008

WAR MADE EASY
Harvey Karten | CompuServe | January 24, 2008

THE MARKETING PLAN FOR WAR
Jeff Shannon | Seattle Times | January 11, 2008

LIMITED MOVIE RUNS: WAR MADE EASY
Sean Axmaker | Seattle P.I. | January 10, 2008

WAR MADE EASY: OR, HOW BUSH SNOOKERED BIG MEDIA
Seattle Weekly | January 9, 2008 | Caroline Palmer

WAR MADE EASY (Review in Dutch)
Peter Teffer | NRC-Handelsblad | November 24, 2007

WAR MADE EASY
Ben Terrall | Dissident Voice | November 19, 2007

POLITICIANS, MEDIA DON'T LET FACTS GET IN WAY OF A GOOD WAR
Montreal Gazette | November 16, 2007 | John Griffin

MOVIE REVIEW: WAR MADE EASY
Joan K. Widdifield | Movie Magazine International | October 24, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW: WAR MADE EASY
Brian Orndorf | eFilmCritic.com | October 19, 2007

MOVIE REVIEWS
Colin Covert | Minneapolis Star Tribune | October 4, 2007

INVERTEBRATES: 'WAR MADE EASY' SHOWS HOW THE PRESS ROLLS OVER AND PLAYS DEAD WHEN TRUMPETS BLARE
Richard von Busack | Metroactive | September 12, 2007

SEARING DOCUMENTARY ON WAR COMPLICITY INDICTS NOT JUST U.S. POLITICOS, BUT MAJOR MEDIA, TOO
Bill Brownstein | The Montreal Gazette | August 26, 2007

WAR MADE EASY
Mick LaSalle | San Francisco Chronicle | August 24, 2007

Praise for the Film

"One of the clearest and most effective films on the Iraq War to date."
- FilmForward.com

"A superb visual form of investigative journalism. It chillingly exposes government officials who have used deception to send our young men and women into the hell of war, and who have condemned innocent families in the Middle East to death. But more, it investigates journalism itself, documenting the collusion of the national media with the warmakers, and thus alerting us to the betrayal of democracy."
- Howard Zinn | Author, A People's History of the United States

"Highly Recommended"
- Library Journal

"Sobering and more than a little scary..."
- The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Packed with archival footage and newsclips... skilfully edited."
- Booklist

"Compelling... A keen analysis of how war has been made easy by well-oiled propaganda techniques."
- BuzzFlash.com

"A powerful construction of information and complicated questioning that is critical to understanding the current Iraq conflict and previous combat situations."
- FilmJerk.com

"Damning"
- Variety

"Searing"
- San Francisco Chronicle

"Chilling and persuasive."
- Katrina Vanden Heuvel | The Nation

"Compelling"
- Montreal Gazette

"...Goes further than most recent documentaries on the current Iraq war by not merely looking at Bush Administration mismanagement or avarice, but also examining propaganda that the U.S. military and government repeatedly use."
- Ben Terrall | Dissident Voice

"One of the top documentaries of 2007."
- John Griffin | Montreal Gazette

"Damning..."
- Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Telling and terrific."
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"An unsettling documentary."
- The Providence Journal

"... Demonstrates that democracy, which depends on an informed public, has been ill served."
- Shepard Express (Milwaukee)

"This DVD inches us ever closer to the harrowing truth about 9.11 and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq."
- Weekly Dig (Boston)

"The documentary is fascinating on its own, or as a companion piece to media critic Norman Solomon's 2005 book of the same name. Regardless of one's political stance, War Made Easy is highly recommended viewing..."
- DVD Talk

"A cinematic essay, a simple and pointed piece with a compelling argument..."
- MSN.com

"... Not easily forgotten."
- DVD Town

"Compelling... a bucket of ice water to the face in an attempt to wake up an unsuspecting public."
- DVD Verdict

"Unflinching"
- EDGE.com

"This DVD may well re-write history."
- Popsyndicate

"... A tightly constructed and absorbing survey."
- Video Business

"This documentary is a powerful work. It raises important questions, reveals a pattern of official distortion, the abuse of presidential authority and the complicity of the news media in allowing it to happen. It should be eye-opening for students. It would be useful in an investigative reporting class to watch and learn and for those teaching mass media research to provide lively source material for further examination, particularly in agenda setting and framing research. The archival film footage is a historian's dream to follow the patterns of military propaganda for the past fifty years."
- American Journalism

"... It's a good time to be watching a film like this and ask ourselves what we should be asking our leaders and whom we should believe."
- Home Media Magazine

"War Made Easy is an excellent, but boldly partisan work. The evidence is compelling and well researched. This film is recommended to anyone wishing to examine the relationship between media and politics, or the American media culture in general."
- Educational Media Reviews Online

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