Film Screening: ‘Theatres of War: How the Pentagon and CIA took Hollywood’

If you've seen Top Gun or Transformers, you may have wondered: Does all of that military machinery on screen come with strings attached? Does the military actually get a crack at the script? With the release of a vast new trove of internal government documents, the answers have come into sharp focus: the US military has exercised editorial control over thousands of films and television programs. Propelled into a field trip across America, media professor Roger Stahl engages an array of other researchers, bewildered veterans, PR insiders, and industry producers willing to talk. In unsettling detail, he discovers how the military and CIA have pushed official narratives while systematically scrubbing scripts of war crimes, corruption, racism, sexual assault, coups, assassinations, and torture. From The Longest Day to Lone Survivor, Iron Man to Iron Chef, and James Bond to Jack Ryan, the deliberate creation of this other "cinematic universe" is one of the great PR coups of our time. As these activities gain new public scrutiny, new questions arise: How have they managed to fly under the radar for so long? And where do we go from here?

This exclusive screening of the film documentary (released May 2022) will be followed by a discussion with Dr Sebastian Kaempf, one of the co-producers of the documentary.

11 October, 6-8pm, Abel Smith Theater, University of Queensland.

Watch the trailer:

Theaters of War Credits

Director, Editor and Narrator: Roger Stahl

Co-Producers: Matthew Alford, Tom Secker, Sebastian Kaempf

Interviewees in Order of Appearance: Matthew Alford, Tom Secker, Tricia Jenkins, Oliver Stone, Tanner Mirrlees, Sebastian Kaempf, Robin Andersen, Philip Strub, Duncan Koebrich, Travis Walker, George Lewis, David Evans

Videography by: Gavin Brennan, Karla Cote, Karsten Krause, Andrew Hart, Matt Peterson, Roger Stahl, and William Westaway

Animation by: Roger Stahl

Film Screening: ‘Theatres of War: How the Pentagon and CIA took Hollywood’

Tue 11 Oct 2022 6:00pm8:00pm


Abel Smith Theatre (#23-101)