Hot Docs 2015: War of Lies

war_of_lies The man responsible for the war in Iraq tells his side of the story in War of Lies.  Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, also known as Curveball, is an Iraqi refuge living in Germany, whose story is what lead the U.S. to believe that there were Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.  Rafid sits down with filmmaker Matthias Bittner to tell his side of the story, which began with him fleeing Iraq for Germany in 1999. Who is truly to blame for the start of the war in Iraq?  Is it George W. Bush, who set his sights on Iraq after 9/11?  Is it Colin Powell, who reported on the apparent existence of WMDs?  Or is it Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, who is the man who provided this information in the first place?  War of Lies is Rafid’s attempts to finally reveal the real truth behind this story, which involved him working his a variety of shadowy figures in a plan to bring down Saddam Hussein.  Rafid never expected his lies about WMDs to go as far as they did, or be made public, which leads to him feeling a sense of guilt and shame. War of Lies consists nearly entirely of the central interview with Rafid, though his story is visualized through a number of first-person re-enactments, which allows the viewer to see the events through Rafid’s eyes.  This almost gives War of Lies the feel of an Errol Morris film, as Rafid breaks down the series of events, which eventually lead to the war in Iraq.  Even though Rafid was shamed by the media after his lie went public, War of Lies leaves things a little more open to interpretation.  Altogether, War of Lies is a pretty compelling story about the man behind one of the greatest military debacles. ★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).