'No End in Sight': Definitely, see this movie

Next week Charles Ferguson's documentary No End in Sight opens in DC and New York, followed in August by "select other cities." It is worth making time to see this film.


The trailer can be viewed on YouTube here. (At least for me, in China, this loads much faster than the same trailer at the movie's official site).


It gives a taste of the film's energy and overwhelming accumulation of fact. Also, many people will be tempted, as I was, to pause the trailer 16 seconds in, to stare in shock at how George W. Bush looked before this war began. That clip, from his 2003 State of the Union address on the eve of war, shows a man who could be the carefree young nephew of our current haggard president.

Biases to disclose: I know, like, and admire the film's creator, Charles Ferguson. I talked with him when he was planning the film, and I have a tiny cameo role as one of his interviewees.


My deeper bias might seem to work against the film. It covers almost exactly the same terrain, including many of the same sources and anecdotes, as did my book Blind Into Baghdad. But rarely have I seen a clearer demonstration of how much more powerful the combination of pictures, sound, music, real-people-talking, etc can be than words on a page. (Update: I'm not denigrating print, to which I've devoted my professional life -- and which, indeed, is the medium through which big ideas about the world are generally changed. But there are times when the experience of seeing, for instance, chaos on the streets of Baghdad transcends any mere verbal description of it.)


I don't know whether the highly-publicized Sicko is any good: hasn't shown up in the pirate-video stores here yet. But if you're looking for an auteur-produced, both intellectually and emotionally powerful, public-affairs-related documentary film, I say: try this one first.