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Review: More questions than answer in 'U.N. Me'

Slick and snarky, the documentary focuses on the international organization's recent history.

June 01, 2012|By Mindy Farabee
  • Director Ami Horowitz interviews head of the Human Rights Council mission to Darfur, and Nobel laureate, Jody Williams.
Director Ami Horowitz interviews head of the Human Rights Council mission… (Viso Entertainment )

A scathing takedown of the United Nations, "U.N. Me" focuses in on dishonorable episodes in the organization's recent history — the Oil-for-Food scandal, tragic inaction when faced with genocide in Rwanda and Darfur — as part of its larger contention that peacekeeping and human rights efforts of the once noble enterprise have been rendered dangerously absurd by corruption, poor oversight of troops and self-preservation for its own sake.

The film slickly packages its outrage. Co-directors Ami Horowitz, a former investment banker and contributor to the National Review and the Weekly Standard, and Matthew Groff, intersperse a parade of talking heads, including former employees and a damning interview with Nobel laureate Jody Williams, with film and cartoon clips put to ironic effect.

Traveling to locations including New York, Cote d'Ivoire and Geneva in search of accountability, on camera Horowitz, who co-wrote and co-produced the film as well (also with Goff), works hard to entertain, adopting a Michael Moore-style persona and snarky interview techniques.

The result is far from evenhanded, but capable of raising important questions.

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"U.N. Me." Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material involving genocide and sexual abuses, and for violent images. Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes. At Laemmle's No Ho 7, North Hollywood. Available on VOD beginning Friday.

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