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THE OSCAR NOMINATIONS | DOCUMENTARY

A category rife with conflicts

January 23, 2008|Paul Brownfield

Last year's Oscar for best documentary feature served as a coronation for former Vice President Al Gore and his cautionary tale of global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth." This year's category has Michael Moore's "Sicko" but otherwise is dominated by films about the Iraq war and/or war-on-terror issues.

Two of them -- "Taxi to the Dark Side" and "No End in Sight" -- unpack the mistakes, abuses and policies they see emanating from the top down; "Taxi" focuses on the death of an Afghan cab driver in U.S. military custody by way of examining torture as a weapon in the war on terror; and "No End in Sight" looks at the forces that conspired to turn an invasion into a quagmire. Charles Ferguson, who made "No End in Sight," said he wanted to "show that if you go to war, war is not a video game."

Meanwhile, "Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience" is an intimate look at the experiences of soldiers, in their words, but read by actors.

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-- Paul Brownfield

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