Last week, Congress came together in overwhelming bipartisan unity and harmony to approve a record-breaking $858 billion military spending bill with virtually no public debate – even though just last month the Pentagon failed its fifth audit in a row after being unable to account for a staggering 60% of its assets. Given the inexplicable dearth of media coverage and scrutiny all of this has received, it seems like a good time to watch and reflect on Roger Stahl’s explosive new documentary “Theaters of War: How the Pentagon and CIA Took Hollywood.” Among other things, the film lays out how the Pentagon has been collaborating with Hollywood producers for decades to spin sanitized propaganda stories that glamorize America’s forever wars, shield billion-dollar arms dealers like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon from accountability, and render the U.S. war machine immune from democratic oversight.
Featuring media scholars, journalists, combat veterans, and Hollywood insiders, Theaters of War is an invaluable teaching tool for helping to decode official propaganda and bring the hidden realities and costs of U.S. military policy into view. You can watch the film now on the Kanopy streaming platform through your university or public library; purchase a streaming rental or subscription through MEF; or sign up to host a screening. To see if your university subscribes to Kanopy, click here.