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Film Screening: Why We Fight

why we fight poster

Why We Fight, a film by Eugene Jarecki which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, is an unflinching look at the anatomy of the American war machine, weaving unforgettable personal stories with commentary by a “who’s who” of military and beltway insiders.  Featuring John McCain, William Kristol, Chalmers Johnson, Gore Vidal, Richard Perle and others, Why We Fight launches a bipartisan inquiry into the workings of the military industrial complex and the rise of the American Empire. Inspired by Dwight Eisenhower’s legendary farewell speech (in which he coined the phrase “military industrial complex”), filmmaker Jarecki  surveys the scorched landscape of a half-century’s military adventures, asking how – and telling why – a nation of, by, and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a system whose survival depends on a state of constant war. The film moves beyond the headlines of various American military operations to the deeper questions of why – why does America fight?  What are the forces – political, economic, ideological – that drive us to fight against an ever-changing enemy?

This event is part of the Waging Peace in Vietnam exhibit and series documenting the antiwar dissent of active duty military personnel and veterans during the Vietnam War, on display at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst from September 23 through October 11 in the main lobby of the Integrated Learning Center.

These events are co-sponsored by the the following UMass Amherst entities: Department of History; Program in Comparative Literature; Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Writing Program; Special Collections and University Archives; College of Humanities and Fine Arts; Institute for Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies; Center for Justice, Law, and Societies; Political Science Department and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.