"U.N Me"

"U.N Me" Credit: One of the directors of "U.N. Me," Ami Horowitz

U.N. Me
3 stars
Documentary by Ami Horowitz, Matthew Groff
Rated PG-13

In the wake of World War II, the United Nations was formed as a global body meant to prevent war, protect peace and ensure universal human rights. The documentary "U.N. Me" offers a devastating look at just how far it has strayed from that original mission.

Filmmakers Ami Horowitz and Matthew Groff embark on a tour of the U.N.'s most egregious failures, from the Oil-for-Food scandal to the ineffectual International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as its steadfast refusal to effectively intervene in the genocides in Rwanda and Sudan.

The documentary boasts an impressive collection of credible interview subjects, such as Nobel Prize laureate Jody Williams, who headed a fact-finding mission to Darfur that the world body's Human Rights Council subsequently squashed.

The movie is less effective when Horowitz appears on camera, engaging in Michael Moore-style antics like storming the stage at the World Conference Against Racism or charging past the guards at the U.N.'s mission in Cote d'Ivoire. He's a sharp interviewer, gifted in "The Daily Show" mode of getting self-incriminating testimony from unwitting representatives of the U.N. and various corrupt countries, but the humor falls flat.

Not that the movie really needs it, though. The facts of what's being presented are too powerful, too important. Rather than indulging in simplistic propaganda, the filmmakers present a sharp, well-argued case that exposes the rampant cronyism and greed eating away at the heart of the institution, revealing its fundamental, conceptual flaw: giving too much power to rogue member states under the guise of universal acceptance.

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