7.8/10
4,829
96 user 115 critic

Control Room (2004)

A documentary on perception of the United States's war with Iraq, with an emphasis on Al Jazeera's coverage.

Director:

On Disc

at Amazon

9 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Award winning journalist John Pilger examines the role of Washington in America's manipulation of Latin American politics during the last 50 years leading up to the struggle by ordinary ... See full summary »

Directors: Christopher Martin, John Pilger, and 1 more credit »
Stars: John Pilger, Philip Agee, Salvador Allende
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Thought-provoking documentary on war propaganda: how governments manipulate the facts and how most media let them get away with it.

Directors: Alan Lowery, John Pilger
Stars: Julian Assange, Tony Blair, Wilfred Burchett
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A comprehensive look at the Bush Administration's conduct of the Iraq war and its occupation of the country.

Director: Charles Ferguson
Stars: Campbell Scott, Gerald Burke, Ali Fadhil
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

In April 2002, an Irish film crew is making a documentary about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, when a coup from the opposition is made.

Directors: Kim Bartley, Donnacha O'Briain
Stars: Hugo Chávez, Pedro Carmona, Jesse Helms
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The remarkable story of The Weather Underground, radical activists of the 1970s, and of radical politics at its best and most disastrous.

Directors: Sam Green, Bill Siegel
Stars: Lili Taylor, Pamela Z, Jim Lange
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Documentary on reported Conservative bias of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News Channel (FNC), which promotes itself as "Fair and Balanced". Material includes interviews with former FNC employees and the inter-office memos they provided.

Director: Robert Greenwald
Stars: Douglas Cheek, Walter Cronkite, Roger Ailes
Al midan (2013)
Documentary | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A group of Egyptian revolutionaries battle leaders and regimes, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience.

Director: Jehane Noujaim
Stars: Ahmed Hassan, Khalid Abdalla, Magdy Ashour
The War Tapes (2006)
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Called up for service in Iraq, several members of the National Guard were given digital video cameras. This film, edited from their footage, provides a perspective on a complex and troubled conflict.

Director: Deborah Scranton
Stars: Zack Bazzi, Duncan Domey, Ben Flanders
Documentary | Biography | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A film about the noted American linguist/political dissident and his warning about corporate media's role in modern propaganda.

Directors: Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick
Stars: Noam Chomsky, Mark Achbar, Karin Aguilar-San Juan
Stealing a Nation (TV Movie 2004)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

This tells a story literally 'hidden from history'. In the 1960s and 70s, British governments, conspiring with American officials, tricked into leaving, then expelled the entire population ... See full summary »

Directors: John Pilger, Sean Crotty
Stars: John Pilger
Dirty Wars (2013)
Documentary | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill is pulled into an unexpected journey as he chases down the hidden truth behind America's expanding covert wars.

Director: Rick Rowley
Stars: Jeremy Scahill, Nasser Al Aulaqi, Saleha Al Aulaqi
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The story of America as seen through the eyes of the former Secretary of Defense under President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Robert McNamara, John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
...
Himself (as Lt. Josh Rushing)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself
Deema Khatib ...
Herself
Tom Mintier ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

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. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Different channels. Different truths.

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 June 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Central Al Jazeera  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$27,125 (USA) (21 May 2004)

Gross:

$2,586,511 (USA) (29 October 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Rumsfeld: Truth ultimately finds its way to people's eyes and ears and hearts.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 12 June 2004 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Lemon Tree
Composed by Hani Salama
Performed by Hani Salama
Courtesy of Sense of Occation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Rumsfeld's 'truth' may come more from the beleaguered Arab network than the carefully controlled coalition.
17 June 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declares in the early stages of the Iraq War, ''Truth ultimately finds its way to people's eyes and ears and hearts,'' I knew I would like 'Control Room.' I did feel truth peeking through the eyes of the Al Jazeera Satellite Network war coverage, perhaps the most damning moment coming when the coalition forces attack the Al-Jazeera building and kill a prominent journalist.

Egyptian-born, Harvard-educated director Jehane Noujaim, having worked with D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus on ''Only the Strong Survive'' and ''Startup.com,' is no objective documentarian: She cuts her film to the best advantage of the Arab network as the voice of the Arab oppressed and to the obvious discomfort of the ' occupying' forces, especially the US.

If you factor in her bias and listen to the occasionally reasonable Centcom Press Officer, Lt. Josh Rushing, you may yet believe that Rumsfeld's 'truth' comes more from the beleaguered Arab network than the carefully controlled coalition. But Rushing provides the most truth in the film, for instance, when he confesses, 'Our rule back here is to not spin, but sometimes we catch ourselves doing a little spin on a story. You can't help it.' Lt. Rushing is one of the more interesting characters, at first a central-casting officer spouting the Pentagon message. But when he sees film of suffering and dead American soldiers, he admits, "It makes me hate war." Regardless of which side you're on, most viewers can relate.

When an Arab producer exclaims that the drama unfolding is just like an American movie, where the god guys are easily identifiable, the bad guys will be punished, and the audience wants to know how the ending will be reached, the director mixes fiction and reality in a way that reminds all students of film there cannot be truly unbiased films once someone picks up a camera.

Let 'Control Room' stand tall next to last year's Earl Morris documentary 'Fog of War,' starring a still-sharp and still-deluded Robert McNamara, looking a bit like Donald Rumsfeld. His statement about Al Jazeera, ''We are dealing with people who are willing to lie to the world to make their case,'' is too ironic to be left out of a documentary that makes a liberal criticism of the neocons' great war seem, well, believable.

There are so many secrets and lies in the world political scene today that I am reminded of Joseph Conrad's Marlow in 'Heart of Darkness,' who said there was 'a flavor of mortality in lies, -- which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world -- what I want to forget.' The official body count in Iraq may be mute testimony to the legacy of lies. Like the 9/11 Commission report on the lack of connection between Iraq and al Quaida, 'Control Room' tries to balance the scales before Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' upsets it even more.


28 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page