Back in 1989, in his smash hit “Say Anything,” John Cusack famously stood with a boom box above his head outside the home of the woman he loved blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” With his latest films on the Iraq war, Cusack is standing outside Hollywood with a TV above his head broadcasting his political movies calling on the public to wake up and “Do Something.”
John Cusack began working on his new film “War, Inc.,” which premieres in LA and New York May 23, about a year into the US occupation of Iraq. From the moment US tanks rolled into Baghdad, Cusack was a voracious consumer of news about the war. He took it deadly seriously, regularly calling independent journalists and asking them questions as he sought as much independent information as he could. Watching the insanity of the erection of the Green Zone and the advent of the era of McWar, complete with tens of thousands of “private contractors,” Cusack set out to use the medium of film to unveil the madness. He wanted to do on the big screen what independent reporters like Naomi Klein, Nir Rosen and Dahr Jamail did in print. Over these years of war and occupation, Cusack has become one of the most insightful commentators on a far too seldom discussed aspect of the occupation: the corporate dominance of the US war machine.
Cusack is no parachute humanitarian. While he continues to do the Hollywood thing with big budget movies, he is simultaneously a fierce un-embedded actor/filmmaker who has been at the center of two of the best films to date dealing with the madness of the Iraq war.