The War on Democracy

The War on Democracy
Directed by Christopher Martin
John Pilger
Produced by Wayne Young
Written by John Pilger
Youngheart Entertainment
Granada Productions
Distributed by Lions Gate
Release dates
15 June 2007 (United Kingdom)
Running time
96 min.
Language English

The War on Democracy is a 2007 documentary film directed by the British filmmakers Christopher Martin and John Pilger, who also wrote the narration.[1] Focusing on the political states of nations in Latin America, the film criticizes both the United States' intervention in foreign countries' domestic politics and its "War on Terrorism". The film was first released in the United Kingdom on June 15, 2007.


The film was produced over a two-year period. Carl Deal, chief archivist on the Michael Moore films Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine, provided the archive footage used in the film. It is mastered in high-definition video.


The War on Democracy was screened at both the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and the Galway Film Festival. The film was sold to distributors Lionsgate for distribution in the U.K. and Hopscotch distribution in Australia and New Zealand.[2] Pre-release screening took place at two Fopp locations on June 12, 2007, including one that was followed by a question and answer session with co-director John Pilger.


Peter Bradshaw wrote in The Guardian:

[Pilger] recounts the shabby tale of how the postwar United States set about... [removing] inconvenient nationalisers in small countries, using phoney pretexts cooked up with the help of compliant media... Pilger makes no secret of his own admiration for Chávez, a Bolivarian hero who has had the effrontery to survive without kowtowing to the mighty superpower. But how about Chávez's decision to bypass the National Assembly for 18 months, and rule by decree? Pilger passes over it very lightly. Maybe he thinks that questioning Chávez on this point would be playing into the hands of the smearmongers. Maybe. But he's in dereliction of his journalistic duty, just the same... But however posterity depicts [Chavez], the truth of Pilger's overall story is plain enough.[3]

Andrew Billen wrote in The Times:

By any standards his latest outing was an impressive polemic, but by any standards, too, Pilger’s patsy questioning of President Chávez was a disgrace (“You are deeply committed to the Venezuela people. Where does that come from?”). Even [the] New Statesman, in a recent cover story, has suggested that Chávez is halfway to becoming a dictator. All Pilger parenthetically conceded was that Chávez "recently announced temporary presidential powers that bypass parliament".[4]

The War on Democracy won the One World Media TV Documentary Award in 2008.[5]

Box office

The War on Democracy grossed $199,500 at the box office in Australia.[6]

See also


  1. One World Media Awards, One World Broadcasting Trust, 2008
  2. "Pilger's 'War' sold to U.K., Oz/N.Z.", Variety, 17 May 2007
  4. Billen, Andrew (21 August 2007). "Last Night's TV". The Times. London. Retrieved 13 October 2015. (subscription required)
  5. Whelan, Natalie (13 June 2008). "One World Media Awards: BBC Radio 4 and the Guardian triumph". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  6. "Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" Archived July 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Film Victoria
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