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The Trials of Henry Kissinger -- A film about the war crimes of the American diplomat, Henry Kissinger.

Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Alex Gibney (written by)
Christopher Hitchens (book)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Trials of Henry Kissinger on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 April 2003 (Germany) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A film about the war crimes of the American diplomat, Henry Kissinger. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A timely and provocative documentary See more (11 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Brian Cox ... Narrator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anna Chennault ... Herself
Amy Goodman ... Herself
Alexander Haig ... Himself
Seymour Hersh ... Himself (author)

Christopher Hitchens ... Himself
Barbara Howar ... Herself

Henry Kissinger ... Himself (also archive footage)
Michael Korda ... Himself (Editor-in-Chief, Simon & Schuster)

Lewis Lapham ... Himself (Editor, Harper's Magazine)
Geoffrey Robertson ... Himself (Human Rights Lawyer)
William Safire ... Himself (New York Times)
René Schneider Jr. ... Himself
Michael Tigar ... Himself (Professor of Law)

Salvador Allende ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

John Belushi ... Henry Kissinger (archive footage) (uncredited)
Leonid Brezhnev ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Gerald Ford ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Hubert H. Humphrey ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Lyndon Johnson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Duc Tho Le ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Zedong Mao ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Pat Nixon ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Augusto Pinochet ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Gilda Radner ... Baba Wawa (archive footage) (uncredited)

Dan Rather ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Nelson Rockefeller ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Norodom Sihanouk ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Earl Warren ... Himself (swears in Nixon) (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Eugene Jarecki 
 
Writing credits
Alex Gibney (written by)

Christopher Hitchens (book "The Trial of Henry Kissinger")

Produced by
Roy Ackerman .... executive producer
Jennie Amias .... associate producer
Alex Gibney .... producer
David Holbrooke .... co-producer
Eugene Jarecki .... producer
Susan Motamed .... co-producer
 
Original Music by
Peter Nashel 
 
Cinematography by
Greg Andracke 
Mark Benjamin 
Gary Grieg 
Christopher Li 
Brett Wiley 
 
Film Editing by
Simon Barker 
Sosse Misserlian 
 
Production Management
Belinda Clasem .... production manager
Belinda Clasen .... production manager
 
Sound Department
Jim Gilchrist .... sound
Roger Phenix .... sound
 
Editorial Department
Nick Fraser .... commissioning editor: BBC
 
Other crew
Mikaela Beardsley .... researcher
Claudia Becker .... production associate
Nicola Behrman .... production associate
Danny Cohen .... researcher
Salimah El-Amin .... film researcher
Roger Kass .... legal counsel
Damion Lawyer .... production assistant
Nicholas Lorden .... production assistant (as Nick Lorden)
Melinda Shopsin .... film researcher
Melinda Shopsin .... production coordinator
Robert Stein .... legal services
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
80 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Features "The Simpsons" (1989)See more »
Soundtrack:
Mr. Big StuffSee more »

FAQ

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31 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
A timely and provocative documentary, 8 September 2003
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

Based on a book by journalist Christopher Hitchens, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, a documentary by Eugene Jarecki, argues that the former U.S. Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize recipient should be tried for war crimes for his role in the overthrow of the democratically elected government in Chile in 1973, the secret bombing of Cambodia in 1969, and U.S. support for Indonesia's 1975 invasion of East Timor, events that led to the slaughter of millions. Applying the same legal standards to which Pinochet and Milosevic have been held, Hitchens branded Dr. Kissinger as a war criminal who should be brought to justice for crimes against humanity. Narrated by actor Brian Cox, the documentary is presented in lively "60 Minutes" fashion using archival footage, background music, and a combination of interviews with Kissinger associates and journalists such as Seymour Hersh, William Safire, and Hitchens himself.

The film attempts to maintain a balanced tone but Dr. Kissinger's only defenders are former staff members William Shawcross and Alexander Haig and there are no interviews with Dr. Kissinger himself (who refused to be interviewed). A refugee from Nazi Germany, Kissinger. rose to prominence in American politics thanks to his realpolitik approach to improving America's power position in the world relative to Russia and China. One of the main contentions of the film is that Kissinger, as a member of the Johnson team at the Paris Peace Talks, was also a secret advisor to Richard Nixon's presidential campaign of 1968. In that double role, he torpedoed the Paris Peace Talks by persuading South Vietnam Premier Thiéu to back out of the talks in order to prevent the Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey from taking political advantage of a Vietnam settlement before the election.

Another supporting piece of evidence is that Kissinger bombed Cambodia without the knowledge of Congress, an action that led to the death of 500,000 Cambodians, the destabilization of the country and the rise of the bloody Khmer Rouge regime of Pol Pot. Jarecki also argues that Kissinger's clandestine support of Indonesia President Suharto's invasion of East Timor suppressed an independent movement and led to the deaths of 100,000 Timorese. Jarecki's case is built on a series of recently declassified documents that contradict Kissinger's written memoirs and show that Washington had supported Suharto using American weapons designed only for defensive purposes. They also indicate that Kissinger played a major role in Chile in the kidnapping and murder of General René Schneider and was deeply involved in the overthrow of the government of Salvador Allendé in Chile on September 11, 1973. Jarecki interviews Gen. Schneider's son who reveals that he is considering pressing charges against Kissinger for his part in the murder.

The Trials of Henry Kissinger is timely and the idea that statesman should be held accountable for their actions under International Law is a compelling issue that deserves to be debated in public forums.

Yet to me the real culprit is not the role of one man, nefarious as it may be, but a shortsighted policy that sees third world people only as tools in a U.S. global economic and political power struggle. Assassination of foreign leaders, secret foreign policy decisions, and lying to the American people did not start with Kissinger and, as we see in today's news, did not end when he stepped off the world stage.

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