Shadow Company

Kris Rothstein

Mercenaries and muscle for hire are the subjects of Shadow Company, a cinematic investigation into the privatization of the use of force. The film was born when a university buddy of the director, Nick Bicanic, took a job as a private military contractor in Iraq. It has been a hit with private contractors and even with the American government. The filmmakers maintain that their film does not take sides—perhaps not, but it lacks political and philosophical sophistication. Bicanic and his co-director Jason Bourque ignore larger questions about the circumstances of conflict and war; they seem content simply to interview consultants about why they accept some jobs and turn down others. Only one interviewee is brave enough to point out that the reason his clients need protection is because their presence is unwelcome. Shadow Company probes some provocative and unusual subject matter, but fails to ask the important questions that are raised by the content.

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