Watch Control Room
- 1 hr 24 min
Control Room is a gripping documentary-style film that explores the media coverage of the Iraq War in 2003, particularly the role of Al Jazeera, a Qatari news organization that provided coverage of the conflict from an Arab perspective. The film is directed by Jehane Noujaim and features interviews with various journalists, military officials, and other experts who were involved in the war coverage.
The film takes place primarily within the confines of the Al Jazeera newsroom in Doha, Qatar, where a team of dedicated journalists and producers are working tirelessly to report on the events of the war as they unfold. The film follows several key figures within the organization, including Samir Khader, a senior producer with years of experience in the field, and Hassan Ibrahim, a reporter who provides on-the-ground coverage of the conflict.
At the same time, the film also delves into the American media coverage of the war, particularly within the confines of the United States military's Central Command (CENTCOM) in Doha. Here, we meet Josh Rushing, a Marine Corps spokesman who is tasked with communicating the military's message to the media. Through Rushing, we are given an inside look at how the military uses the media to shape public opinion and manage their message.
One of the key tensions in the film is the clash between the perspectives of Al Jazeera and the American media. The film shows how Al Jazeera's coverage of the war, which includes images of casualties and criticism of American policies, is seen by some in the United States as biased and anti-American. Meanwhile, the film also shows how the American media's coverage of the war, which is largely controlled and sanitized by the military, often distorts the reality of the situation on the ground.
Throughout the film, we see the impact that media coverage can have on the public perception of war. From the seemingly mundane decisions about which images to broadcast, to the larger debates about objectivity and bias, the film illustrates how media coverage shapes our understanding of world events. In particular, the film highlights the importance of alternative perspectives and the need to challenge dominant narratives.
Perhaps the most poignant moment in the film comes towards the end, when we see the aftermath of a U.S. airstrike on a marketplace in Baghdad. The Al Jazeera newsroom scrambles to cover the story, while Rushing is left to defend the military's actions to the media. It is a powerful example of the devastating consequences of war and the challenges of reporting on such events objectively.
Overall, Control Room is an important and thought-provoking film that raises important questions about the role of the media in shaping public opinion. By giving voice to multiple perspectives, the film challenges viewers to think critically about the information they are receiving and to seek out alternative viewpoints. It is a timely reminder of the power and responsibility of the media, and the impact that they can have on our understanding of the world.
Control Room is a 2003 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 24 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 79.