Recommended Movies

Pink Flicks!

CODEPINK recommends these movies to your local group. Host a DVD party with other local members and get informed, activated and energized with these films and transform your concern into action!

The Welcome, Directed by Kim Shelton

The Welcome films American soldiers returning from US wars abroad who, with their families, undergo an unusual five-day healing retreat where they create art out of their experiences. Their examples of unflinching honesty, courage and love lift us up, inspiring all of us once again to feel our common humanity, always the first casualty of war.

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Iraq for Sale

The War Profiteers is the story of what happens to everyday Americans when corporations go to war. Acclaimed director Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed and Uncovered) takes you inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have been changed forever as a result of profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq. Iraq for Sale uncovers the connections between private corporations making a killing in Iraq and the decision makers who allow them to do so. 

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War Made Easy

War Made Easy reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, the film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations.War Made Easy gives special attention to parallels between the Vietnam war and the war in Iraq. Guided by media critic Norman Solomon's meticulous research and tough-minded analysis, the film presents disturbing examples of propaganda and media complicity from the present alongside rare footage of political leaders and leading journalists from the past, including Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, dissident Senator Wayne Morse, and news correspondents Walter Cronkite and Morley Safer.

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In the Valley of Elah

"In the Valley of Elah" tells the story of a war veteran (Tommy Lee Jones), his wife (Susan Sarandon) and the search for their son, a soldier who recently returned from Iraq but has mysteriously gone missing, and the police detective (Charlize Theron) who helps in the investigation. Paul Haggis directs from his original screenplay based on a story by Mark Boal and Haggis. This will be Haggis' directing follow-up to the Academy Award-winning "Crash." In addition to the Oscar-winning screenplay for "Crash," his recent writing credits include the award-winning "Million Dollar Baby," for which he received an Academy Award-nomination for Best Screenplay, and current releases "The Last Kiss," "Flags of Our Fathers," sino Royale" and "Letters From Iwo Jima." The film is produced by Paul Haggis, Larry Becsey, Patrick Wachsberger, Steve Samuels and Darlene Caamano Loquet. A Summit Entertainment and Samuels Media presentation in association with Nala Films and Blackfriars Bridge.

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The Objective

In Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, a Special Forces team meets CIA Agent Benjamin Keynes, who explains their mission to find a very important Afghan cleric by the name of Mohammad Aban. The team leader, Wally Hamer sends the men to ready themselves. After being inserted, the team finds a local guide, Abdul, in a village in Southern Afghanistan, where the cleric is from. Together, they set out for the mountains, where the cleric is reputed to be hiding.As they head further into the mountains, they begin to have strange encounters, first with armed gunmen, who simply disappear when shot, later with strange forces. The further they go, the more dangerous it becomes, as the team realises they are looking not for someone, but something that may not be of this world.

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The Messenger

Ben Foster stars as Will Montgomery, a U.S. Army officer who has just returned home from a tour in Iraq and is assigned to the Army's Casualty Notification service. Partnered with fellow officer Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson) to bear the bad news to the loved ones of fallen soldiers, Will faces the challenge of completing his mission while seeking to find comfort and healing back on the home front. When he finds himself drawn to Olivia (Samantha Morton), to whom he has just delivered the news of her husband's death, Will's emotional detachment begins to dissolve and the film reveals itself as a surprising, humorous, moving and very human portrait of grief, friendship and survival.

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Green Zone

Green Zone is a film set in the chaotic early days of the Iraqi War when no one could be trusted and every decision could detonate unforeseen consequences. During the U.S.-led occupation of Baghdad in 2003, Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Damon) and his team of Army inspectors were dispatched to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be stockpiled in the Iraqi desert. Rocketing from one booby-trapped and treacherous site to the next, the men search for deadly chemical agents but stumble instead upon an elaborate cover-up that inverts the purpose of their mission. Spun by operatives with intersecting agendas, Miller must hunt through covert and faulty intelligence hidden on foreign soil for answers that will either clear a rogue regime or escalate a war in an unstable region. And at this blistering time and in this combustible place, he will find the most elusive weapon of all is the truth.

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September Tapes

Commercial director Christian Johnston makes his feature film debut with the dramatic thriller September Tapes. The story takes place in Afghanistan, one year after the events of September 11. American journalist Don Larson (George Calil) and his two companions travel to Kabul in order to investigate the search for Osama bin Laden. After meeting with members of the Northern Alliance, he is arrested for taking photographs. While he's incarcerated, Don learns about a bounty hunter named Babak who may be able to help them. September Tapes premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 as part of the American Spectrum competition.

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The Hurt Locker

Based on the personal wartime experiences of journalist Mark Boal (who adapted his experiences with a bomb squad into a fact-based, yet fictional story), director Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War-set action thriller The Hurt Locker presents the conflict in the Middle East from the perspective of those who witnessed the fighting firsthand -- the soldiers. As an elite Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team tactfully navigates the streets of present-day Iraq, they face the constant threat of death from incoming bombs and sharp-shooting snipers. In Baghdad, roadside bombs are a common danger. The Army is working to make the city a safer place for Americans and Iraqis, so when it comes to dismantling IEDs (improvised explosive devices) the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) crew is always on their game. But protecting the public isn't easy when there's no room for error, and every second spent dismantling a bomb is another second spent flirting with death. Now, as three fearless bomb technicians take on the most dangerous job in Baghdad, it's only a matter of time before one of them gets sent to "the hurt locker."

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My Country, My Country

Director/cinematographer Laura Poitras creates an extraordinarily intimate portrait of Iraqis living under U.S. occupation. Her principal focus is Dr. Riyadh, an Iraqi medical doctor, father of six and Sunni political candidate. An outspoken critic of the occupation, he is equally passionate about the need to establish democracy in Iraq, arguing that Sunni participation in the January 2005 elections is essential. Yet all around him, Dr. Riyadh sees only chaos, as his waiting room fills each day with patients suffering the physical and mental effects of ever-increasing violence. Dramatically interwoven into the personal journey of Dr. Riyadh is the landscape of the US military occupation, with Australian private security contractors, American journalists and the UN officials who orchestrate the elections. Unfolding like a narrative drama, MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY follows the agonizing predicament and gradual descent of one man caught in the tragic contradictions of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and its project to spread democracy in the Middle East.

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No End in Sight

The first film of its kind to chronicle the reasons behind Iraq's descent into guerilla war, warlord rule, criminality and anarchy, NO END IN SIGHT is a jaw-dropping, insider's tale of wholesale incompetence, recklessness and venality. Based on over 200 hours of footage, the film provides a candid retelling of the events following the fall of Baghdad in 2003 by high ranking officials such as former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Ambassador Barbara Bodine (in charge of Baghdad during the Spring of 2003), Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, and General Jay Garner (in charge of the occupation of Iraq through May 2003) as well as Iraqi civilians, American soldiers, and prominent analysts. NO END IN SIGHT examines the manner in which the principal errors of U.S. policy ? the use of insufficient troop levels, allowing the looting of Baghdad, the purging of professionals from the Iraqi government, and the disbanding of the Iraqi military ? largely created the insurgency and chaos that engulf Iraq today. How did a group of men with little or no military experience, knowledge of the Arab world or personal experience in Iraq come to make such flagrantly debilitating decisions? NO END IN SIGHT dissects the people, issues and facts behind the Bush Administration's decisions and their consequences on the ground to provide a powerful look into how arrogance and ignorance turned a military victory into a seemingly endless and deepening nightmare of a war. 

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Taxi to the Dark Side

Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) directs this Best Documentary Oscar winner that uses interviews, news footage and firsthand reports to examine the Bush administration's policy on torture. The film focuses on the case of an Afghan taxi driver who picked up three passengers and never returned home. Instead, he wound up dead at the Bagram Air Base, killed by injuries inflicted by U.S. soldiers.

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Iraq in Fragments

An opus in three parts, Iraq In Fragments offers a series of intimate, passionately-felt portraits: A fatherless 11-year-old is apprenticed to the domineering owner of a Baghdad garage; Sadr followers in two Shiite cities rally for regional elections while enforcing Islamic law at the point of a gun; a family of Kurdish farmers welcomes the US presence, which has allowed them a measure of freedom previously denied.
American director James Longley spent more than two years filming in Iraq to create this stunningly photographed, poetically rendered documentary of the war-torn country as seen through the eyes of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. Winner of Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Editing awards in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival documentary competition, the film was also awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and Jury Prize at the 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

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When I Came Home

When I Came Home is a film about homeless veterans in America: from those who served in Vietnam to those returning from the current war in Iraq. The film looks at the challenges faced by returning combat veterans and the battle many must fight for the benefits promised to them.Through the story of Herold Noel, an Iraq War veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and living in his car in Brooklyn, When I Came Home reveals a failing system and the veteran's struggle to survive after returning from the war.

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Restrepo

Winner of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for a Documentary, RESTREPO chronicles the deployment of a U.S. platoon of courageous American soldiers in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, considered to be one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military. From May 2007 to July 2008, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger dug in with the men of the Second Platoon, Battle Company of the 503rd Infantry Regiment (airborne), stationed at Restrepo, sharing duties and shooting more than 150 hours of combat, frustration, routine, jokes, terror and bravery during daily life at the outpost. Hetherington and Junger, have made a film unlike any other about men in harm's way. We see their courage. We experience their frustrations. We share their bonding. We hear the music they listen to, and we see the snapshots of their kids that they pass around. It is something that audiences have never before experienced. As they fight the Taliban, these 15 men win our hearts and minds in a way no fictional film can.

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Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier documents the "Winter Soldier Investigation" conducted by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in Detroit, Michigan in the winter of 1971. This heartfelt, emotional story follows the VVAW as they call to veterans all over the country to come to Detroit to tell their stories. At the investigation, over 125 veterans representing every major combat unit to see action in Vietnam, gave eye-witness testimony to war crimes and atrocities they either participated in or witnessed. The purpose of the investigation was to bring to light the nature of American military policy in Vietnam.

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The War Tapes

March 2004, just as the insurgent movement strengthened, several members of one National Guard unit arrived in Iraq, carrying digital video cameras. The War Tapes follows three men: Sergeant Steve Pink, a young carpenter who joined the Guard for college money; Sergeant Zack Bazzi, a traveler and university student; and Specialist Mike Moriarty, a husband and father driven to fight by honor and redemption. With Director Deborah's guidance, the soldiers shot over 900 hours of videotape during their yearlong deployment. These soldiers got the story the 2,700 embedded reporters never could.

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Lions for Lambs

Robert Redford directs this dramatic tale of intersecting lives that weaves together the stories of an idealistic professor's attempts to inspire a privileged student, a former student of the teacher who is wounded behind enemy lines in Afghanistan, and a congressman whose interactions with a seasoned journalist reveal much about the man behind the public persona. Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, and Robert Redford star in a film scripted by Matthew Michael Carnahan.

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Generation Kill

A platoon of young but highly trained Marines leads the charge of American forces during the 2003 invasion of Iraq in this gritty, Emmy-nominated HBO miniseries that highlights the challenges soldiers face on the front lines. Alexander Skarsgård, James Ransone, Stark Sands and Jon Huertas head the cast in this realistic portrayal of war in the Middle East, based on a nonfiction book by Rolling Stone scribe Evan Wright.

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Occupation: Dreamland

Occupation: Dreamland is an unflinchingly candid portrait of a squad of American soldiers deployed in the doomed Iraq city of Falluja during the winter of 2004. A collective study of the soldiers unfolds as they patrol an environment of low-intensity conflict creeping steadily towards catastrophe. Through the squads activities Occupation: Dreamland provides a vital glimpse into the last days of Falluja. The film documents the citys waning stability before a final series of military assaults began in the spring of 2004 that effectively destroyed it. 

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Mission Accomplished

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, journalist Sean Langan swipes his title from the banner that flew aboard the USS Lincoln in May of 2003 when President George W. Bush declared the Iraq War a grand success. Reporting from the notorious Sunni Triangle more than six months after the war has "ended", Langan captures a profound grassroots view of resistance fighters and American troops in a region where few reporters dared to travel. An important and eye-opening documentary.

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Uncovered: The War on Iraq

In his documentary feature, UNCOVERED: The War on Iraq, filmmaker Robert Greenwald chronicles the Bush Administration's determined quest to invade Iraq following the events of September 11, 2001. The film deconstructs the administration's case for war through interviews with U.S intelligence and defense officials, foreign service experts, and U.N. weapons inspectors -- including a former CIA director, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and even President Bush's Secretary of the Army. Their analyses and conclusions are sobering, and often disturbing, regardless of one's political affiliations.

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Control Room

A chronicle which provides a rare window into the international perception of the Iraq War, courtesy of Al Jazeera, the Arab world's most popular news outlet. Roundly criticized by Cabinet members and Pentagon officials for reporting with a pro-Iraqi bias, and strongly condemned for frequently airing civilian causalities as well as footage of American POWs, the station has revealed (and continues to show the world) everything about the Iraq War that the Bush administration did not want it to see.

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.I Know I am Not Alone 

Armed with an acoustic guitar and a video camera, musician Michael Franti takes us on a musical journey through war and occupation in Iraq, Israel and Palestine. Along the way he shares his music with families, doctors, musicians, soldiers and everyday people who in turn reveal to him the often overlooked human cost of war.
With its guerrilla style footage captured in active war zones, the documentary is unlike the many academic and politically driven pieces in the marketplace, instead offering the audience a sense of intimate travel and the opportunity to hear the voices of everyday people living, creating and surviving under the harsh conditions of war and occupation.

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Arlington West

Arlington West is a film that documents the reactions of everyday Americans as they visit the sands of Santa Barbara�s West Beach. Produced for Veterans for Peace under the direction of Peter Dudar and Sally Marr, this film shows an area that has sprouted into a national phenomena and become the de facto burial ground for the more than 1,000 American soldiers killed since the war in Iraq began in March 2003. In a series of close-up interviews with proud and inquisitive soldiers, grieving relatives, and passersby of all ages intermixed with longer pans of the crosses and mourners in action, Arlington West provides a meaningful glimpse at a questionable war. Characters include everyone from cute, forward-thinking kids to ignorant, backward-thinking adults. Among other tear-jerking, heartfelt memories of fallen friends and family all under the lens of "why?" the scene of a young soldier who lays flowers and kisses on the crosses of more than two dozen of his former mates reigns as memorable. But most troublesome of all is the sign early on in the film that announces, "If we were to honor the Iraqi dead, it would fill this entire beach." If it goes on much longer, we may need to bring in some more sand.

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Joyeux Noel

In 1914, World War I, the bloodiest war ever at that time in human history, was well under way. However on Christmas Eve, numerous sections of the Western Front called an informal, and unauthorized, truce where the various front-line soldiers of the conflict peacefully met each other in No Man's Land to share a precious pause in the carnage with a fleeting brotherhood. This film dramatizes one such section as the French, British and German sides partake in the unique event, even though they are aware that their superiors will not tolerate its occurrence.

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Shut up and Sing

Shut up and sing is a documentary film produced and directed by Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck. The film follows the Texas-based country music female trio the Dixie Chicks over three years while the group was under fire after lead singer Natalie Maines publicly criticizing the President of the United States George W. Bush in a 2003 concert in London. The title of the film makes reference to the request by proponents of American conservatism (and by commentator Laura Ingraham in particular, whose book was so titled) that entertainers refrain from making political comments.

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US vs. John Lennon

"The U.S. vs. John Lennon" tells the story of Lennon's transformation from loveable moptop to anti-war activist, and recounts the facts about Nixon's campaign to deport him in 1972. With Walter Cronkite, Gore Vidal, Mario Cuomo, George McGovern, Angela Davis, Bobby Seale, G. Gordon Liddy, Yoko Ono, and Jon Wiener--and archival footage of Richard Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover, and John Lennon.
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Regret to Inform

On her twenty-fourth birthday, Barbara Sonneborn received a knock on her door from a United States Army soldier, and heard the words "We regret to inform you...." Her husband Jeff had been killed by a mortar in Vietnam. She received a box containing Jeff's dog tags still encrusted with his blood. Twenty years later, Sonneborn embarks on a journey through the country where he fought and died. Woven into her personal odyssey are interviews with American and Vietnamese widows from both sides of the conflict who speak openly about the men they loved and how war changed their lives forever.

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Sir! No Sir!

Sir! No Sir! is a powerful film that shows how GI resistance to the Vietnam War infested the entire armed services, flourishing in army stockades, navy brigs, in the dingy towns that surround military bases, and throughout the battlefields of Vietnam.

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The Road to Guantanamo

Road to Guantanamo is the terrifying first-hand account of three British citizens who were held for two years without charges in the American military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Known as the �Tipton Three,� in reference to their home town in Britain, the three were eventually returned to Britain and released, still having had no formal charges ever made against them at any time during their ordeal. Part documentary, part dramatization, the film chronicls the sequence of events that led from the trio setting out from Tipton in the British Midlands for a wedding in Pakistan, to their crossing the Afghanistan border just as the U.S. began their invasion, to their eventual capture by the Northern Alliance and their imprisonment in Camp X-Ray and later at Camp Delta in Guantanamo.

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Why We fight

Why we fight is an unflinching look at the anatomy of the American war machine, weaving unforgettable personal stories with commentary by a "who's who" of military and beltway insiders. Featuring John McCain, William Kristol, Chalmers Johnson, GOre Vidal, Richard Perle and others, Why We Fight launches a bipartisan inquiry into the workings of the military industrial complex and the rise of the American Empire.

Inspired by Dwight Eisenhower's legendary farewell speech filmmaker Jarecki surveys the scorched landscape of a half-century's military adventures, asking how-- and telling why-- a nation of, by, and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a system whose survival depends on the constant state of war.

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Peace One Day

Peace One Day is the story of one man's attempts to persuade the global community via the United Nations to officially sanction a global ceasefire day; a day of non-violence; a day of Peace. This documentary charts the remarkable 6-year journey of the filmmaker as he meets heads of state, Nobel Peace Laureates, aid agencies, freedom fighters, media moguls, the innocent victims of war and, eventually, everyone who was anyone at the UN. An individual genuinely can make a difference: The UN International Day of Peace is now fixed in the calendar on 21st September annually. The real challenge has now begun - to get the world to unite on a day fast approaching.

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