Director Eugene Jarecki, who fashioned a brilliant expose of American foreign affairs with The Trials of Henry Kissinger (2002), outdoes his previous achievement with Why We Fight. This unique examination of the American way of war centers on the rationale for invading Iraq. It's a topical, iconoclastic documentary with the warmth and pace of a first-rate personal essay.
Jarecki interviews men and women across the social-political spectrum, from bomber pilots proud of their missions to battlefield and Pentagon veterans who question their past service, and from crafters of neoconservative policy like Richard Perle to longtime critics of American conduct like Gore Vidal. (For a change, even Vidal seems world-weary, not shrill.)
Why We Fight (Sony Pictures Classics) Directed by Eugene Jarecki. Rated PG-13. Time 98 minutes.