"An essential, engaging, and concise exposé of how the filmmaking of war turns us all into embedded reporters, incapable of seeing beyond our frame of reference. An invaluable resource for anyone teaching propaganda, media studies, or journalistic bias."
Douglas Rushkoff, Professor of Media Studies, Queens College - CUNY, Author, Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now
"Blowback is a fine component to any course on war films. Well-selected film clips forcefully pose many key questions about authenticity, romanticism (war porn), propaganda, censorship, and more. The clips from other nations should help students see their own national outlook. And the Zero Dark Thirty clips and the interview with Kathryn Bigelow alone would make a great class meeting."
H. Bruce Franklin, Professor Emeritus of English, Rutgers University - Newark, Author, Crash Course: From the Good War to the Forever War
"Blowback explains that war films do not simply tell stories about war, they are themselves weapons used to justify war. This videographic essay exposes students to the complex issues surrounding the production and reception of war films. How do nation states influence the production of war films? How do war films reflect and inform wider public opinion about who is right and wrong on the global stage? What role do films play in public memory? The filmmakers do an admirable job of providing salient examples - A useful teaching tool."
Pearl James, Associate Professor of English, Co-director in International Film Studies, University of Kentucky, Author, The New Death: American Modernism and World War I
"Interrogating the cinematic production of the 'war on terror' as a uniquely American story, Blowback offers an inventory of Hollywood's most chauvinistic representations of post-9/11 militarism while also emphasizing the importance of alternative perspectives. Blowback tells key aspects of this global narrative through close attention to non-Western contexts of film production, distribution, and reception. It will be an especially welcome addition to courses on popular media and is a generally stimulating conversation starter."
Noah Tsika, Associate Professor of Media Studies, Queens College-CUNY, Author, Traumatic Imprints: Cinema, Military Psychiatry, and the Aftermath of War
"I found the film gripping. With a remarkable assemblage of clips from recent and classic war movies, Blowback shows how filmmakers across the world have used cinema to wage a war of ideas about terrorism and territorial aggression. This short film eloquently explores the power of movies to ask: Who are the sheep in global conflicts? Who are the wolves? Who are the sheepdogs that protect the sheep? Blowback offers a rich, provocative, and disturbing view of our collective experience of warfare in the early 21st century."
David M. Lubin, Professor of Art and Film Studies, Wake Forest University, Author, Grand Illusions: American Art and The First World War
"War films can be weapons in shaping public opinion. Blowback reveals the seductive allure and power of the war film genre and alerts audiences that the point of view is essential for the master narratives created by cinematic representations. Ultimately, war films are closely related to propaganda and help promote violent conflict, even if they claim to be about preserving freedom and democracy. This educational documentary does not shy away from asking tough questions and would be perfectly suited for classrooms from high school to college."
Karen A. Ritzenhoff, Professor of Communication, Central Connecticut State University, Co-editor, New Perspectives on the War Film
"The film discusses the use of war films as a modern replacement for monuments, a way to invoke historical reverence, and national exceptionalism...This length is appropriate for viewing during a class and would be most appropriate for upper-level high school, undergraduate and adult viewing."
Tashia Miller, Washtenaw Community College, Educational Media Reviews Online
"Blowback offers a succinct and insightful look into the dynamics of war cinema, especially in the post-9/11 period. The film contextualizes these films within a broader history of US and British colonial cinema, and then compares US war films with those by Iraqi, Turkish, and Chinese filmmakers in the same period. While short enough to use inside the classroom, Blowback is a film that offers a productive touchstone for further studies and discussion of this rich topic."
Kamran Rastegar, Professor of Comparative Literature, Director of the Arabic Program, Tufts University, Author, Surviving Images: Cinema, War, and Cultural Memory in the Middle East