Charlie Wilson's War (DVD)
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Marguerite, South Africa. 31 July 2014
It is 1980, and US Congressman Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), while facing a personal scandal arising out of his use of cocaine, becomes involved in a campaign to break the Communist Russian stranglehold on Afghanistan. This is a difficult time in US-Middle East relations - the American-backed Shah of Iran has died in exile, the anti-American Ayatollah Khomeini has assumed power in Iran, and the Iranian Embassy hostage drama dominates the news. No-one is particularly interested in the Russo-Afghan conflict. Wilson is approached by CIA operative Gust Avrakotos (multi award nominee Philip Seymour Hoffman) to provide government funding to the embattled Afghan mujahideen. Wealthy Texan socialite-with-a-conscience Joanne Herring (Golden Globe nominee Julia Roberts) is also a player.
This Golden Globe nominated film takes us on a helter-skelter journey through the corridors of international power as Wilson & Avrakotos negotiate with the governments of Pakistan, Israel and America to supply the Afghans with much-needed military support - while appearing not to be doing so. Ms Herring uses her feminine wiles and her Christian faith (which do seem to be at odds with one another) to provide grist to the political mill.
Director Mike Nichols condenses 8 years of war into 97 minutes of film, using archive footage set to the music of James Newton Howard and the cinematography of Stephen Golblatt. Ironically, by the time this film was made in 2007, the USA was involved in its own war with Afghanistan, thus fulfilling the prohpecy made by Avrakotos that if the US were not careful, Afghanistan would turn on its liberator.
Region 2 - Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories.