Standing Army NR CC

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(61) IMDb 7.3/10

Over the course of the last century, the US has silently encircled the world with a web of military bases unlike any other in history. No continent is spared. They have shaped the lives of millions, yet remain a mystery to most. Featuring Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky.

Starring:
Olivier Bancoult, William Blum
Runtime:
1 hour, 17 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Documentary
Director Thomas Fazi, Enrico Parenti
Starring Olivier Bancoult, William Blum
Supporting actors Noam Chomsky, Yôichi Iha, Chalmers Johnson, Michael Klare, Edward N. Luttwak, Catherine Lutz, Gligor Tashkovich, Gore Vidal
Studio Fisher Klingenstein Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Ken Shinzato on March 19, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I normally don't write reviews, but my background is unique in that I'm second generation Okinawan, both my parents were born in Naha, but I am also a veteran of the USAF. Most of my extended family still lives in Okinawa. My cousin married an American. I spent a year in Afghanistan and I've been to Kadena AFB so I know a little about living in a base overseas. I see both sides of the story on Okinawa.

Philosophically, I disagree with Chomsky on many, many points, but the reason why I keep reading him is because I like being challenged to think. And so I ask myself, did this film make me think? To that I'd say yes but you must watch it with a critical mind.

The argument set forth is that the American Empire builds bases to project force and this displaces locals, destroys the environment, and causes more war. So the interview of Okinawans has valiant protesters mourning the loss of life and land. The crying children was an especially emotional scene. But it's all extremely one-sided which is fine as long you understand this kind of film is supposed to be.

The portrayal of base life is a bit less focused. Larger bases definitely have BXs, gyms, and food courts with BK. Bagram is like that in Afghanistan. But the FOB I was assigned to didn't have any of that. If the point was to show that bases were being setup for permanent occupation and how that's a bad thing, it sort of missed the point. I also found that it humanized the military, so instead of being a faceless, evil military industrial complex, it became a young soldier who likes Burger King and loves his country.

The biggest critique I have of Chomsky is that while he's extremely good at pointing out the problems, I haven't read any convincing solutions by him.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Burch on February 18, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This film offers an interesting perspective of the American military that most American citizens haven't considered and provides information not commonly found in the American media. There was a lot of focus on the suffering of the citizens of Okinawa and Diego Garcia. While I sympathize with them, the strategic location of those islands means that it is highly likely that they would be occupied and used for military purposes, whether or not the US is the occupying force. And I certainly can appreciate the ire of the citizens of Vicenza, Italy.

I think that this film would be especially interesting for policy wonks like me :-).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vamphaery on December 27, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The issues raised in this documentary are of vital importance to the current and future state of the human condition. Unfortunately, it suffers from several fatal flaws which, I regret to say, many such documentaries fall prey to.

It is ironic and tragic that those investigating and lamenting a problem so profound in its implications and so tied up with obvious and immense power, are not capable of perceiving the intrinsic capacity of said immense power to exploit naiveté and cognitive dissonance for its own benefit. This is a threat which many of my fellow idealists and peace advocates fail to apprehend.

You would have to work hard to find someone more opposed to armed conflict than I am, or more in favor of curtailing what has become a self-perpetuating system; that which we call the military industrial complex. Yet after a lifetime spent trying to investigate - to the extent a layperson can at least - and quantify this runaway nightmare, I am forced to come to the conclusion that those who assert a monolithic, carefully designed, contiguous policy at work behind it are oversimplifying something which is, much to my terror, a far more complex and nuanced construct.

I have great respect and admiration for those indigenous people who, as shown quite poignantly in this work, peacefully resist day after the day the presence of foreign forces in their ancestral lands. I believe their cause is a just one, however it is their perception of and hope to undermine the forces and dynamics at work with which I disagree and would counsel caution with regard to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JT Miller on April 11, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Somewhat dry documentary nevertheless eye opening how the U.S. goes about securing it's survival as the dominant capitalist democracy. Made me think about how our insatiable consumer appetite feeds the beast.
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Build a big military and every problem begs for shock and awe! Ragtag armies in Afghanistan thwarted outright victory and Iraqi insurgents were only pacified by paying the so called sons of Iraq. Military objectives, as it turned out can even be achieved more efficiently without all the costly high tech weapons. America's obsession with the latest high tech weapons and the eagerness to use it, shows Dwight Eisenhower's advice to beware of the "military-Industrial complex" has not been heeded.
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This is a great comedy. Some of it had me laughing so hard I had to pause the movie so I wouldn't miss the next hilarious "fact." This is an excellent comedy for people who can think for themselves, and a very informative documentary for people who believe everything on the internet is true.
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