Democracy Now! doesn’t belong to any corporation, government or political party. You’re the reason we exist—and that means we need your help to produce our truth-seeking, independent news. If 200 people donate to Democracy Now! today, it will unlock a special, one-time gift of $50,000 from a generous donor in honor of our 28th anniversary. Don’t delay—please make your contribution right now! Every dollar counts. In these times of climate chaos, rising authoritarianism and war, Democracy Now! is relying on you more than ever to hold the powerful to account and amplify the voices of the scholars, scientists, journalists, activists, artists and everyday people who are working to save democracy—and the planet. Thank you so much for doing your part.
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


As “Black Hawk Down” Director Ridley Scott Is Nominated for An Oscar, An Actor in the Filmspeaks Out Against Its Pro-War Message

StoryFebruary 19, 2002
Watch Full Show
Media Options


It was announced yesterday that Ridley Scott was nominated for “best director” in the Oscars. And the film is still in the top ten movies on the charts in the US and Europe. Mark Bowden’s book Black Hawk Down, which the film is based on, is number one on the New York Times paperback bestseller list this week. The book has been on the bestseller list for 26 weeks.

Originally intended to open in March, Black Hawk Down was rushed forward to January in the US and Europe, as threats of the US invading Somalia loomed on the horizon. The movie, set during the 1993 US invasion of Somalia, presents the mission as humanitarian< — >as did the Clinton administration. But when US forces dropped into a teeming market in Mogadishu on October 3, 1993, 18 US soldiers, and over a thousand Somalis, were killed. President Clinton called the massacre one of the darkest hours of his administration.

While the film’s producers say the release was timed to make the film eligible for the next Academy Awards, many say that the events of September 11 and the US military interest in Somalia had something to do with it. All actors had extensive prior training with the forces they were portraying, many who are now stationed in Afghanistan. For $3 million and script approval, the US Department of Defense gave director Ridley Scott its full support. “They saw this as a recruitment film,” says Scott.

But not everyone agrees with the film’s message, including one of the actors. We are joined today by Brendan Sexton, an actor from Black Hawk Down who gets killed by a missile early on in the film. He spoke an anti-war forum at Columbia University organized by the People for Peace Coalition last week.


  • Brendan Sexton, actor, Black Hawk Down, and a student in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Hunter College.

Related Story

StoryFeb 02, 2023“All That Breathes”: Oscar-Nominated Doc About Brothers Saving Birds Amid Delhi’s Ecological Collapse
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation