Movies Are My Wife

Married to the Movies — Mdino's Blog


There are those who consider all wars to be folly.  The U.S. led invasion of Iraq is one of the most despised military actions of all time and is regarded by many as the ultimate folly.  Filmmakers Demetrios Papigans and Donald Evan Farmer brought together three noted anti-war activists to dissect the motives and consequences of “Mr. Bush’s war”.  The result is the 2006 production WHOSE WAR?, featuring actor Mike Farrell, director Keith Gordon and musician and “satirist” Jello Biafra.  A definite problem with the film is that excerpts from the latter’s concert in California are interspersed throughout the film.  Referring to Mr. Biafra as a “satirist” is using the word so loosely that it drops to the floor like a teen-aged boy’s hip-hop trousers.  That aside, the three men offer some thought-provoking opinions that keep the viewer interested for most of the films 59 minute running time. 

Stylistically, the film is similar to another political documentary WINDOW ON A WORLD (2009), consisting mostly of skillful cross cutting between interviews.  Unlike WINDOW, there is no news footage to bring home the points made by those interviewed.  An interesting choice-not good or bad-just interesting.  Both films are available at


Keith Gordon (A MIDNIGHT CLEAR) and Farrell (TV’s MASH) have well established bon fides in the area of anti-war activism.  I know less about Jello Biafra, except that he was the lead singer of the punk band THE DEAD KENNEDYS.  He seems to be the angriest of the three-railing against the entire “system” that he feels runs America- the corporations, etc…  Gordon and Farrell are examples of pure erudition.  Though early on Gordon does posit the absurd notion that Bush may have invaded Iraq for the oil. 

The belief that Bush used the tragedy of 9/11 as an excuse to trample on civil liberties is presented.  Gordon brings up the patriot act as an example.  But President Bush’s big move, according to all three men, was shifting the blame for 9/11 to Iraq.  After this clumsy (but effective) bit of slight of hand, Bush was able to crush dissent at home and was given the excuse to invade Iraq.  Or so say those gathered for this film. 

As is so often the case with low-budget movies shot on digital video, there is a slight technical problem.  The sound for Mr. Biafra’s concert footage is often so low that I had to turn up the audio during these segments.  This caused me to jump on at least one occasion, when there was an abrupt cut to Keith Gordon’s interview and its much louder audio.


January 24, 2010 Posted by | Demetrios Papigans, documentary, Donald Evan Farmer, film directors, independent film, indieflix, Jello Biafra, Keith Gordon, Mike Farrell | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment