‘I didn’t do my job properly. I didn’t press the uncomfortable buttons hard enough.’ This is the honest yet alarming self-assessment of the BBC’s Rageh Omaar on his reporting of the fall of Baghdad in 2003. Omaar, posits John Pilger, is not alone. This wonderfully researched and outraged film gathers and presents the case for the prosecution. In a world of embedded reporters, sophisticated spin and governmental evasion, what price investigative journalism? Pilger is a fine, dogged interviewer and, along with Omaar, veteran US news anchor Dan Rather, Observer journalist David Rose and the BBC’s head of newsgathering, Fran Unsworth, find themselves in his sights. Pertinently, we also hear from WikiLeaks’s Julian Assange. Occasionally, the narrative is bogged down in the morass of Pilger’s righteous but all-encompassing disdain for every aspect of first world hegemony. But, small quibbles aside, this is another intrepid and important film.
Friday December 10 2010