kino21's fall series, How We Fight, presents
international works that explore soldiering and depict the experience of war
from the point of view of those on the ground. From Argentina, Russia,
Iraq, Germany, France, Holland and the U.S., several of these films are US
The series began on September 25 with Iraqi Short Films, a brand new compilation of videos shot in battle by soldiers and militia members in Iraq. Subsequent programs include video diaries of the battlefield and pre- or post-combat rumination, extended observational portraits and interview-based works. There are depictions of Russian conscripts in Chechnya, PKK rebels in the mountains of Iraq, American veterans returned from Vietnam, and mercenaries and peacekeepers stationed across the globe, from Bosnia to Rwanda, from the Middle East to the USA.
by Nick Bicanic and Jason Bourque
(Canada, 2007, 85 minutes)
Nick Bicanic and Jason Bourque's Shadow Company examines the profession of the "private security contractors," the most recent euphemism for the age-old profession of the mercenary. Bicanic trained with Blackwater in order to make this film which follows some of the private security contractors in Iraq, where the use of private military companies (PMCs) is far more extensive than in any other war in modern history. Shadow Company also explores other sites of contemporary conflict where mercenaries play a significant role and examines the history of the profession through interviews with war journalists, historians, ethicists, soldiers and mercenaries themselves.
kino21 regrets that due to unforeseen circumstances concerning international screening rights, we are not able to screen Romuald Karmakar's Warheads for its final HOW WE FIGHT: Mercenaries program.
Instead, we are substituting a free screening of the also excellent and excellently-titled Canadian film Shadow Company, a work which takes us back where we started the series: Iraq today.
"Fascinating, evenhanded documentary about the big business of guns for hire. Flourishes of style (comic-book illustrations, video scenes and news footage swirled together in an Oliver Stone-esque melange) give a flavor of the personalities involved while academics and security experts fill in the historical and political context" - LA Weekly