Control Room is a brilliant film looking at the progress of the war in Iraq from the privileged position of the Al-Jazeera newsroom, located just next to the US Army’s Central Command in Qatar.

The two principal protagonists, Hassan and Samir, are Westernised people. But they are upset by the mounting tide of anti-American feeling around them. Another character is Lieutenant Josh Rushing, the Central Command press officer.

The arguments between Hassan, Samir and Josh are gold dust. They end up liking each other very much, and even half accepting their respective positions.

Films about television are not usually successful, but Jehane Noujaim ( has a good eye for comedy – watch out for the moment when a Donald Rumsfeld speech is instantaneously translated into Arabic. If anything warm has emerged from the Iraq war it’s this film.

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