High Praise for this “Remarkable” and “Terrifying” New Video on the Militarization of U.S. Media

Professors and scholars from a wide range of disciplines are singing the praises of our new classroom video Through the Crosshairs: Reading the Weaponized Gaze, Roger Stahl’s riveting look at the militarization of U.S. news and entertainment media.

“With U.S. missile strikes, aerial bombing, and drone attacks a daily fact of life in places most Americans have never even heard of, Roger Stahl’s terrifying new film reminds us that these are about much more than the bloodless technological spectacle that appears on our screens. They are in fact about violence — and this violence kills real people. Through the Crosshairs should be required viewing for all Americans.”

- Scott Laderman | Professor of History, University of Minnesota, Duluth

“Roger Stahl’s documentary Through the Crosshairs chronicles and critiques a murderous PR collusion over many decades between Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the U.S. war machine and the news industry. Whether in the guise of ‘orbital,’ ‘cockpit,’ ‘helmet-cam,’ or ‘drone’ vision, ultimately it is all just tunnel vision that cedes total control of the narrative to the war machine.”

- Oliver Boyd-Barrett | Professor Emeritus of Communication, Bowling Green

“Professor Roger Stahl’s concept of the ‘weaponized gaze’ is a remarkable contribution. It is invaluable to explaining this concept in the classroom and developing the visual literacy essential to our increasingly visual-text world.”

- Brenda Boyle | Associate Professor of English, Denison University

“Stahl not only documents a troubling convergence of public culture and war propaganda but also addresses the question of how to reframe war, offering a number of examples of interventions aimed at widening the frame, humanizing the victims, and imagining what it must be like to live under constant threat of the deadly drone. Through the Crosshairs warrants multiple viewings.”

- Robert L. Ivie | Professor Emeritus of English & American Studies, Indiana University

“From the helmet cam to military satellites, Stahl’s latest film challenges the pervasive militarization of popular culture and the myth of a clean war, providing a simple but powerful antidote to decades of unquestioned war propaganda, movies, and games.”

- David Nieborg | Professor of Media Studies, University of Toronto

Through the Crosshairs translates Roger Stahl’s pathbreaking scholarship on the ‘weaponized gaze’ into an informative, audio-visually engaging and highly teachable documentary that helps us think critically about how the military’s merger with new media technologies is reshaping how citizens perceive war in the 21st century.”

- Tanner Mirrlees | Associate Professor of Communication and Digital Media Studies, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Through the Crosshairs is a gut-wrenching trip into a key paradox of the modern American way of war: destruction is more precise than ever, but does it accomplish the mission? And how has this new way of seeing war through the crosshairs infiltrated our culture and thereby changed our common understanding of what war is?”

- Wayne E. Lee | Dowd Distinguished Professor of History & Chair of the Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Stahl’s knack for answering complicated questions in elegant terms keeps me on the edge of my seat and makes Through the Crosshairs an ideal teaching tool. This documentary is sure to find a spot on my next course syllabus.”

- Paul Achter | Professor of Rhetoric and Communication, University of Richmond

Through the Crosshairs is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to understand why the visual trope [of ‘the weaponized gaze’] endures in popular culture, and how we might see and think beyond the limited borders of the gun’s sight or the drone’s unblinking eye.”

- Matthew Payne | Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Television, & Theater, University of Notre Dame

Through the Crosshairs is an invaluable educational resource and a compelling viewing experience. Deftly merging history, theory, and close textual analysis, the film forcefully articulates the complex, often disturbing ways in which war merges with contemporary visual culture.”

- Matt Sienkiewicz | Assistant Professor of Communication and International Studies, Boston College

Through the Crosshairs challenges the viewer to cast a critical gaze beyond the crosshairs, to see beyond the propaganda to recognize the lives and losses of civilians living under aerial occupation by drones. In the end, the viewer is left with a choice: to accept the images at face value, or to participate in a discussion of the contexts that lie beyond the crosshairs.”

- Daniel Brunstetter | Professor of Political Science, University of California, Irvine

“Brilliant and mesmerizing. An invaluable resource for helping students understand how the military-industrial complex has used drone footage to weaponize mass media and glamorize America’s endless wars.”

- Sut Jhally | Professor of Communication, UMass-Amherst

“Moving briskly from early aerial visions to the ubiquity of remote sensing and surveilling technologies today, Through the Crosshairs offers a wealth of resources and timely provocations that will prove invaluable to scholars and students alike. This probing investigation of our identification with the images and technologies of targeting raises urgent questions for the classroom and beyond.”

- Jonna Eagle | Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Learn more about Through the Crosshairs