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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 15 December 2010
Having watched this documentary last night on ITV, I just felt that the trust I may sometimes put in fair and accurate journalism from the UK, and my believe in its impartiality and fairmess has been somewhat shaken. Both the BBC and ITV members who defended how they had covered stories seem to know that they had failed in how war stories had been covered. The basic premise for this powerful, insightful and important piece of work was no less than the fact that had proper, fair, factual and proper investigational journalism taken place over the Iraq war - we would never have gone to war in the first place. By the time you have finished watching this powerful and riverting documentary, you may just agree with Pilger. I know I did. I certainly gained a useful insight into why we are not so trusted in the world we live in and feel we try to govern fairly, and saw why large numbers of people are angry at the things we do and how people in the West have been duped into a false belief. And if you don't agree with these points (I don't think I would have this time yesterday) - then give this documentary a watch.
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on 16 December 2010
My teenaged daughter stayed up watching 'The War You Don't See' on ITV the other night. By the end of it, she was inconsolable and blubbing and I wasn't far behind. What could I possibly say to her to make it alright - it isn't alright and never has been...

John Pilger once again does the general public a huge service by showing us the unvarnished realities of war and the political (not to mention commercial) agendas lurking behind them. Even more hard-hitting are the sheepish testimonies of various news anchormen and respected journalists who now admit they were duped about Iraq and led by the nose. Having cut his journalistic teeth in the Vietnam War and consistently covered troublespots ever since, there is no reason to doubt him. Somehow Pilger has retained his perspective and independence, where others succumbed to government bullying and the propoganda machine.

How appropriate then, that it should be John Pilger who gives fellow Australian and whistleblower Julian Assange (of Wikileaks fame/infamy, depending on your political leanings) a helping hand in difficult times. Assange is none of the things you have been led to believe, but best to watch the documentary and find out for yourselves.

If Amazon will let you pay for it, of course...
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on 5 January 2011 this film. If you don't already criticise mainstream news then this film will give you some new facts and an alternative point of view which may make you doubt the information you are 'officially' given.

As I watched John Pilger's 'The War You Don't See' last night at one point I wept, at another I wanted to smash the TV in anger. It was also depressing (which I interpret as a highly rational response to the facts in the film). Ultimately a very sobering experience - I wish many, many other of my fellow human beings would watch this film.

You may not agree with everything. You may not like Pilger. You will have an emotional reaction, it would be hard not to feel something when you see the suffering of defenseless civilians (including children), or the heartfelt admissions of wrong-doing from officials and journalists, or the evasive, excuse-giving of broadcasters who seem to know there is something seriously wrong with their reporting but nevertheless choose to defend it.

However, emotion aside, the film is an invitation to consciously consider the facts. There are many facts given in the film but, for me, there are three which are central: one, the information (i.e. 'news') we are given most of the time, even from 'respectable' TV stations and newspapers, is at best negligently inaccurate or worst consciously complicit in giving a false, biased account; two, the wars being fought in your name by your government (if you are a UK or US citizen) are not in your interest; three, if more people had accurate information before these wars were started public pressure and opinion may have blocked them (hence the need for governments to manipulate an unwitting or complicit media in order to counter the threat of public opinion).

If you're happy with the way the world is and think nothing is wrong then the film will be unlikely to appeal to you. If you think there are serious problems in the world and that greater democracy would help, do yourself (and others) a favour and watch this film.
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on 16 December 2010
Pilger tells an excellent story of how the search for an inside track by the media in reporting wars from the Somme to Afghanistan has led to compromise and self deception that has not served audiences well. He has the gravitas and credentials to secure some impressive interviewees though only those now retired really admit to how they have colluded with the deception of state information services. He takes the story right up to Wikileaks and interviews Assange. However he remains respectful, avoids stridency and sentiment and allows the story to speak for itself. Not many current affairs documentaries have me glued to the screen for almost two hours but this was one and I determined to buy it the day I saw it.
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on 15 December 2010
This is the most powerful documentary I have seen in a long time. John Pilger is as ever highly watchable whilst also being intelligent and thought provoking.

The film is a shocking indictment of even the 'responsible' end of journalism, never mind the end that you half expect to be lying to you. In particular I applaud the reporters who were brave enough to admit here on camera that they got it wrong.

I think what I found the most shocking was the realisation that, when only one 'side' of a story is told, this is not because the other side has not been available or presented: it has, but it simply doesn't fit the required storyline. I'd already watched 'collateral murder' on wikileaks (try youtube dot com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0) but it was dreadful to hear of the events from the paramedic involved. Why did it take wikileaks and Pilger for such events to be widely broadcast? Why was the reporting of the Gaza humanitarian aid ship assault so imbalanced, despite the availability of footage of the outrageous attacks by the Israelis? The media distortions go on and on.

If you think that you are getting balanced reporting from any source, watch this. You will end up more cynical, but better able to judge for yourself. The world needs more John Pilgers. And fewer spin doctors and 'embedded journalists'- two species we could do without.
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on 10 January 2011
This documentary tells the big story that never gets told in the media, the one about itself.

It is, quite literally, essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the truth behind that which is portrayed through the mainstream media. To understand how our media system risks being little more than a propaganda machine in media affairs.

Those in the media claim to have learned their lesson from Iraq. They have not so we must. Right now, we need to ask why the media is NOT asking governments why Iran and it's potential nuclear programme is a dangerous threat to the world despite the fact that Iran has never invaded a country. Moreover when Israel has invaded every country it borders, holds nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and treats international law and it's perceived enemies with complete disregard, why are we focusing on Iran. Only when we have a media that asks and answers these questions will we live in a real democracy.

Anyone who is interested in the themes raised in this documentary and why the media acts in this way should read the incredibly prophetic "The manufacturing of consent: The political economy of the mass media" by Noam Chomksy and Edward Herman. It is a book that this documentary certainly draws from.
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on 4 January 2011
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Being fully aware of the sinister uses to which the media is put, much of this vitally important documentary didn't surprise me, tho I defy anyone not to break their heart over its contents.

John Pilger has my deepest respect and gratitude for his courage and integrity, and for being dedicated to his profession, which is bringing truth to people.

I urge you to make sure as many people as possible watch this. I have started having Truth TV evenings in my home, showing DVDs like this to family, friends and neighbours.

We cannot begin to right great wrongs unless they have first been identified.
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on 6 January 2011
When i first started watching this, i was shocked to see that it had actually been aired considering it reveals the true face of the west. Although i was fully aware of these issues, it still emotionally hurt to see such terrible things going on today in our so called democratic societies, would 100% recommened this to anyone & everyone, and really hope it gets more air time.

5 STARS *****
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on 7 June 2011
With only limited exposure on Australian television and not knowing anything about it, I happened upon a screening on SBS television quite late at night. I sat stunned, rivoted on the edge of my seat, watching what, let's face it, we all knew, but weren't willing to admit. I then bought it from Amazon for my 83 year old father, who is a sincere believer in free speech as well as an active media scrutinizer.

This is a profound, compelling expose of the truth behind war and those behind it. It should be mandatory viewing to all 16-18 year olds who have the power to compel change, as we tried to do during Vietnam. I so want to be a hippy activist now at the age of 52 and condemn everything that this extraordinary documentry depicts.

Do yourselves and your children a favour and encourage them to watch this. My heart-felt thanks to John Pilger for again showing us the truth.
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on 4 December 2010
Following his award-winning documentary The War on Democracy, John Pilger's new film is a powerful and timely investigation into the media's role in war. The War You Don't See traces the history of 'embedded' and independent reporting from the carnage of World War I to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan. As weapons and propaganda are ever more sophisticated, the very nature of war has developed into an 'electronic battlefield'. But who is the real enemy today?

everyone should watch this and see why the USA wants wikileaks to disappear
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