Trials and Tribulations

Documentary presents a case against Kissinger

Taking its cue from Christopher Hitchens' excoriating, similarly titled book (minus the "s" in "Trials"), this terse and compelling documentary presents the case that former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger deserves to be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity, under the standards applied to Slobodan Mlosevic, Augusto Pinochet and even the Nazi defendants at Nuremberg--his 1973 Nobel Peace Prize notwithstanding. With newsreel footage and very few re-creations, filmmakers Alex Gibney and Eugene Jarecki manage to condense complex, often forgotten issues from the '70s--does anyone actually remember East Timor?--into clear indictments of Kissinger's brutal role in world affairs. They also give time to some of Kissinger's defenders, most notably General Alexander Haig, who comes across like a stock Evil Military Commander from central casting. Two minor drawbacks: Onscreen IDs of speakers are sometimes omitted. And Kissinger's crimes seem almost paltry in comparison to current American policies.

 
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