The Trials Of Henry Kissinger

Derived from Christopher Hitchens’s book-length indictment of Kissinger for war crimes, this BBC documentary by Alex Gibney and Eugene Jarecki is easy to like from the moment you hear the strains of Lush Life at the beginning, and it provides a valuable refresher course in our less-acknowledged methods of meddling in the affairs of other countries, killing many innocent people in the process. But I soon began to wonder why the filmmakers insist on personalizingand thereby mystifyingthe institutional policies implementing this mischief, and whether Hitchens’s own brand of Vanity Fair star politics (which apparently focuses on Kissinger because he attends some of the same parties) led to his recent swerve to the right and his endorsement of Bush’s preemptive war tactics. In any event, Gibney and Jarecki deserve credit for opening this can of worms. 80 min. (JR)

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