Opening 7 Feb 2008
Writing credits: Aaron Sorkin, George Crile
Principal actors: Tom Hanks, Amy Adams, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Terry Bozeman
Did you know that a former decorated United States naval officer and Democratic United States representative from the second congresstional district in Texas from 1973-1997, Charles Nesbitt Wilson, along with a former U.S. central intelligence agent, Gust Avrakotos, started a real live war? It’s true! And the partnership is documented by the U.S. television producer of 60 Minutes, George Crile III, in his book, Charlie Wilson’s War: the Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. However, director Mike Nichols is the one who brings the account to life in the film under the same title, Charlie Wilson’s War.
In 1980, Congressman Wilson read a report from the Associated Press that described thousands of refugees fleeing Afghanistan, and it bothered him that no one was interested, including the United States. He wanted to know why the Afghans were fleeing and where they found refuge. Together with his personal secretary, Bonnie Bach (Amy Adams), they flew to Afghanistan, interviewed refugees, assessed the situation and met with the U.S. diplomats. The findings were appalling! The true account of how the flamboyant Wilson (Tom Hanks), the obnoxious Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman), and the beautiful wealthy Houston socialite Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) steadily convince Congress of the need to appropriate CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) funds to support foreign operations to save innocent civilians, namely the plight of the Afghanistan Mujahideen against the Soviet invasion of 1979, is the subject of this film. Their tactics were outlandish and covert but precise. “Good-Time Charlie” will remain an unforgettable U.S. historical figure, in spite of his shortcomings, and along with his cohorts; the annals will never allow them to be forgotten. (Karen Pecota)