U.N. Me


From its “Oil for Food” scandal in Iraq to its inaction in Rwanda and Darfur and its farcical human rights council appointments, the U.N. is slammed again and again in U.N. Me as an organization that has betrayed its founding values. Matthew Groff and Ami Horowitz’s documentary is cut from the Michael Moore cloth, making its case through an episodic structure that’s light on depth but heavy on outrage and the usual combination of talking heads, archival footage, cartoons, and on-the-street publicity stunts—including handing out flyers at the U.N. with the Webster’s Dictionary’s take on “terrorism,” a term the U.N. itself has refused to define. The film’s censure is bolstered by galling facts about U.N. hypocrisy and ineffectiveness in the face of abuse, discrimination, and genocide. Unfortunately, mocking jibes and cutaways to Team America and Wonder Woman (among other movies and TV shows) establish a jokey attitude that weakens the overall case. That shortcoming is made even more pronounced by Horowitz himself, whose on-camera grandstanding involves trying to run through security gates, lambasting U.N. members from a council podium (and getting thrown out of the building), and interviewing the Sudanese ambassador to the U.N. with sarcastic questions that tip the proceedings into awkward Ali G–ish territory. Nick Schager