United States / 84 mins / 2004
War is a filmic portrait of four characters surviving the future end of America.
Sundance, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Galway, Minneapolis, Calgary, Atlanta, Ann Arbor, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Jeonju, Chicago Underground, Pacific Film Archive, and others...
“Jake Mahaffy’s WAR is one of those works that French critics sometimes term a ‘UFO’ – a film that comes out of nowhere, or comes direct and unmediated from its director’s unconscious... A film in the true American primitive tradition, WAR will certainly make its mark on the festival circuit… ragged as it is, this may well be the most primally odd US debut since Eraserhead.” Screen International review, by Jonathan Romney
“…a resolutely handmade film, modest and self-aware, yet epic on its own terms and imbued with a dry sense of humour. War is a beautiful and melancholic film that is obviously in love with the people, places and machines of an America that is quickly disappearing.” Aspects of Change, Senses of Cinema journal, by George Clark
“A near-future that looks oddly reminiscent of Depression-era America provides the setting for "WAR," the striking debut feature by Jake Mahaffy, a virtual one-man-band filmmaker… Commercial prospects for such a work are understandably limited, but pic portends good things to come from its young creator and should garner a high profile…” Variety review, by Scott Foundas
“Mahaffy's first feature is like nothing else in contemporary US cinema… this is a genuinely transformative experience: once seen, never forgotten.” Edinburgh, Catalogue Copy, by Shane Danielson
“Set amid the disappearing world of family farms, WAR reveals an unseen America wrapped in the fog of a centuries-old conflict… Jake Mahaffy's innovative feature debut… creates a unique, intense, and authentic vision of hope in despair. Not just a movie, WAR is a spiritual declaration.” Sundance, Catalogue Copy, by Mike Plante
“With a hand-cranked silent movie camera and a cast of amateur actors, the young director has proven himself a visionary auteur, possessed of a talent far beyond his years… WAR documents an alternate America caught in a state of perpetual entropy, spinning slowly into a bleak future as all the stabilizing and grounding forces in the characters’ lives slip away. A startlingly poetic vision, WAR is a beautifully realized film of human resilience in a world falling into disrepair.” Calgary, American Independent Film section, Catalogue Copy