The Trials of Henry Kissinger – 2002 | Eugene Jarecki
This incisive documentary offers a sobering portrait of statesman Henry Kissinger, quite possibly the most powerful and influential diplomat in U.S. government in the latter half of the 20th century.
“The Trials of Henry Kissinger” is a 2002 documentary film directed by Eugene Jarecki and narrated by Brian Cox. The film is inspired by Christopher Hitchens' 2001 book “The Trial of Henry Kissinger” and examines war crimes alleged to have been perpetrated by Henry Kissinger, the National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State under Presidents Nixon and Ford. The documentary focuses on Kissinger's role in America's secret bombing of Cambodia, the approval of Indonesia's genocidal assault on East Timor, the assassination of a Chilean general, and his involvement in the 1969 Paris peace talks concerning the Vietnam Conflict. It features interviews, archive footage, music, and analysis to present the case for Kissinger's guilt, as well as defenders of Kissinger's policies and legacy, resulting in a robust and nuanced debate.
This incisive documentary offers a sobering portrait of statesman Henry Kissinger, quite possibly the most powerful and influential diplomat in U.S. government in the latter half of the 20th century. Based on the book of nearly the same name by journalist and critic Christopher Hitchens (the slender volume goes with the singularised Trial), the movie takes on the form of a legal argument, bringing forward case studies that aim to illuminate Hitchens' claims against Kissinger. Among the significant events in Kissinger's career that the movie tackles are his purported secret diplomacy during the 1968 peace talks to end the Vietnam War, the secret bombing of Cambodia in the early '70s without congressional authorisation, and an alleged U.S.-backed plot to overthrow the leftist government of Chilean leader Salvador Allende. The movie features numerous interviews with legal experts, journalists, and high-ranking diplomats, such as Alexander Haig, Walter Isaacson, Roger Morris, and Hitchens himself; predictably, Kissinger did not participate in the making of the picture.