John Pilger’s documentaries aren’t a place to find sensationalism, cheap tactics or irrelevancies. As The War On Democracy demonstrates, Pilger instead takes a deathly serious subject, and while his work isn’t bereft of political leanings, presents his findings to his audience in a grown-up, intelligent manner.
In The War On Democracy, he looks at the political tactics of America over the past decades, homing in on Latin America and the impact that ongoing strategic American political decisions have had. Throughout the course of the documentary, Pilger gets access to relevant subjects and charts the backlash in Latin America too.
The subject matter of The War On Democracy is clearly emotive, and it’s inevitable perhaps that Pilger’s stance isn’t wholly impartial. His film, however, is very strong. Directed by Chris Martin, it’s an engrossing, studiously put-together picture, that can’t help but emote a reaction from those who sit through it. One or two of the interviewees, in particular, are all but certain to provoke.
As a piece of filmmaking, The War On Democracy continues the rich vein of quality that the documentary genre has been enjoying over the past few years. That it’s also likely to wind its audience up one way or the other is also, surely, an even stronger reason to recommend it. --Jon Foster
Watch a trailer here: