LA Times Features Devastating Op-Ed by Director of our New Film on Hollywood War Propaganda

Screenshot from the LA Times

Over Memorial Day weekend, while Top Gun: Maverick was soaring to record-breaking box-office heights, the L.A. Times published an Op-Ed by the filmmaker behind our new film Theaters of War blowing the lid off Hollywood’s craven, decades-long relationship with the Pentagon and the CIA.

In the piece, Roger Stahl, the director of our just-released documentary Theaters of Warlays out the basic premise of his stunning new film.

“In the past five years,” Stahl writes, “my small group of researchers has acquired 30,000 pages of internal Defense Department documents through Freedom of Information Act requests and newly available archives at Georgetown University, which show that the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency have exercised direct editorial control over more than 2,500 films and television shows. These discoveries raise questions about the government’s reach at a time when deciphering propaganda from fact has become increasingly difficult.”

Stahl concludes: “If we’re to truly honor the ideals veterans fought and died for, we shouldn’t allow the military to wage a stealth propaganda campaign on an unsuspecting public by commandeering the world’s largest entertainment industry.”

You can watch Theaters of War now on the Kanopy streaming platform through your university or public library; purchase a streaming rental or subscription; or sign up to host a screening. To see if your university subscribes to Kanopy, click here.

Featuring interviews with Oliver Stone, combat veterans, and a slate of dogged researchers, Theaters of War provides breathtaking smoking-gun evidence that in exchange for supplying producers with onscreen military hardware, the Pentagon and CIA have been allowed to systematically scrub Hollywood scripts of anything that even hints at U.S. war crimes, corruption, racism, sexual assault, coups, assassinations, and torture.

Here’s just some of the praise that’s been rolling in for Theaters of War from educators, military and media analysts, and others.

Praise for Theaters of War 



“A high-impact documentary that the USA’s most powerful filmmakers and warmakers don’t want you to see. Confronts head-on the hugely deceptive images that help to promote one horrific war after another.”

— Norman Solomon | Author, War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death

“Like a bloodhound on the trail, Theaters of War tracks toward one riveting revelation after another, managing to shock even as it confirms what we imagined we knew about the role and reach of military propaganda.”

— Jonna Eagle | Author, War Games

“This powerful documentary forced me to wonder: How many hours of my lifetime have I spent staring at movie screens and TV screens unknowingly absorbing DOD and CIA propaganda? Is this part of a military-industrial-entertainment complex? Theaters of War is a terrific teaching experience.”

— H. Bruce Franklin | American historian and author of Crash Course: From the Good War to the Forever War



Theaters of War exposes the entertainment landscape of Hollywood as the monopolistic propaganda arm for what is, by far, the world’s single most militaristic purveyor of cruel and wanton destruction, and the most dangerous institution on the planet.”

— Oliver Boyd-Barrett | Professor Emeritus of Media & Communication at Bowling Green State University


“Lively, engaging, and meticulously researched.”

— Rebecca A. Adelman | Associate Professor of Media & Communication Studies at University of Maryland Baltimore County and co-editor of Remote Warfare: New Cultures of Violence



“An impressively documented examination of the U.S. security state’s role in promoting militarism via popular media. Think propaganda’s the wrong word? Think again!”

— Stacy Takacs | Professor of English & American Studies at Oklahoma State University


“Revelatory. Roger Stahl shows once again the promise of documentary film in combining entertainment with hard-earned insight. This is the future of public scholarship, and audiences will never see the military on screen the same way again.”

— Jessy Ohl | Associate Professor of Communications at The University of Alabama

Douglas Rushkoff


“A tight, compelling, and straightforward documentary that is sure to grab audiences from the living room to the college classroom.”

— Douglas Rushkoff | Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens