June 10, 2023

Film Review – The Killing$ Of Tony Blair (2016)


The Killing$ Of Tony Bliar
Former Labour MP George Galloway has never been one to shy away from making his true feelings known – something that was fully apparent when he was suspended from the Labour Party in 2003 for protesting (with two million people in London – and countless others around the nation) about the illegal Iraq war. It’s that illegal Iraq war and the profits made by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair that are exposed (or collectively tied together) in the Galloway produced and presented documentary, The Killing$ of Tony Blair.

Crowded by over 5000 individuals, this Sanne van den Bergh and Greg Ward directed documentary chronicles the rise of New Labour, born from the ashes of Thatcherism that dominated Britain for the eighties and much of the nineties. This ‘movement’ was headed by a bright eyed and bushy-tailed Tony Blair, but was far removed from the socialist principles of the Labour Party. After chronicling this rise to power, The Killing$ of Tony Blair shifts its focus to the personal business deals made by Blair – from his $5m role in financial juggernaut JP Morgan to dubious relationships with several of the world’s richest and dangerous dictators – and not to mention Rupert Murdoch. However, it’s the exploration of Blair’s gains from the Iraq war, despite the deaths of thousands of Iraqis and allied troops – making rise to the unsettled and dangerous world we live in now under constant threat of Isis – that are likely to shock.

The Killing$ of Tony Blair makes its case in a clear, occasionally amusing, often gut-wrenchingly tragic manner – not to mention the anger that it’s likely to invoke in its audience. As Galloway mentioned at the film’s Q+A at Edinburgh’s Cameo cinema, The Killing$ of Tony Blair is not an exercise in kicking a man when he’s down – as Tony Blair is very much still standing, and still profiting from what can only be described as war crimes. It’s therefore hard to shake the sense that Galloway’s is an important film that exposes the damage done to the world through Blair and Bush’s ego trips and flexing on the world stage – one that’s almost in tatters now.

Whilst the greed that drives Blair is well documented in the non-Murdoch curated media, The Killing$ of Tony Blair does a staggeringly impressive job at bringing together all these strands to showcase a compendium of Blair’s sinister dalliances – whether documenting his secretive business dealings through his own companies, work with other financial powerhouses and dictators, or laughable role as a Middle Eastern Peace envoy.

Cynics are likely to find fault in Galloway’s personal dislike of Blair – which ultimately lead to his unjust removal from the Labour Party – but the RESPECT politician assembles a cast filled with experts from the political, theoretical and cultural realm of British and international society. Testimonies from Noam Chomsky, former Blair cabinet minister Claire Short, Conservative MP David Davis, Stephen Fry, and government officials from the US and USA, amongst countless others lends The Killing$ of Tony Blair a further authority and credibility.

A great documentary should provoke extreme emotion and The Killing$ of Tony Blair certainly does so. Galloway does a tremendous job at clearing the smokescreen left by Blair and exposes the greed, corruption and destruction our former PM has caused.

[rating=4]| Andrew McArthur

Documentary, Politics | UK, 2016 | 15 | Bulldog Film Distribution | 27th July 2016 (UK) |Dir. Sanne van den Bergh, Greg Ward | Tony Blair, George Galloway |Buy: The Killings Of Tony Blair [DVD]

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