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Scahill and Rowley's "Dirty Wars" Nominated for Best Documentary Film

'Our whole team is thinking of the Afghans, Yemenis, Somalis & others who let us into their homes to tell their stories,' says journalist

Jon Queally, staff writer

The documentary film "Dirty Wars," featuring independent journalist Jeremy Scahill whose book of the same name explores the rise of the U.S military's secret war against global terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11, has been nominated for this year's Academy Award in the Best Feature Documentary category.

Announced Thursday, the nomination will likely elevate the profile of the film, its director Rick Rowley, and the investigative work of Scahill that has tracked the use of drones, assassination squads, and other controversial military strategies employed by both the Bush and Obama administrations.

As Scahill himself expressed when the film was placed on the Oscar short list:

The hope with [the film] is that people pay attention to these stories, that Americans will know what happened to the Bedouin villagers in al-Majalah, Yemen, where three dozen women and children were killed in a U.S. cruise missile strike that the White House tried to cover up and allowed the Yemeni government to take credit for, or the people that are killed in night raids in Afghanistan or drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan. I mean, that’s our hope with this. It’s been our hope from the beginning. And so, you know, we’re—in the 15 films that are on the short list for an Oscar, there are some incredible films on that. Jehane Noujaim’s film, The Square, about the Egyptian revolution is—you know, it’s a fantastic movie. The Act of Killing, of course, you had Joshua Oppenheimer on the show. And, I mean, there’s just—we’re honored to be in that field with people, and we just hope that this results in more attention being paid to this issue of the U.S. assassination program.

Here's the official list of nominees as posted to the Oscar's website:

Documentary Feature

  • “The Act of Killing”Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
  • “Cutie and the Boxer” Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
  • “Dirty Wars” Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
  • “The Square” Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
  • “20 Feet from Stardom” Nominees to be determined

Assuming he was responding to the news, Scahill's initial reaction was succinct:

Soon after, he added:

Watch the film's trailer:

And here is Scahill and Rowley appearing together on Democracy Now! to discuss the film in early 2013:


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