No End in Sight

Director: Charles Ferguson
Screenwriters: Charles Ferguson

Institute History


On May 1, 2003, President Bush declared an end to combat in Iraq. More than three years later, 3,000 American soldiers and an estimated 790,000 civilians are dead, and Iraq still burns. What happened? The first film to examine comprehensively how the Bush administration constructed the Iraq war and subsequent occupation, No End in Sight exposes a chain of critical errors, denial, and incompetence that has galvanized a violent quagmire.

Drawing on jaw-droppingly frank interviews with an impressive array of high-level government officials, military personnel, and journalists, many on the ground in "postwar" Iraq, Charles Ferguson zeroes in on the months immediately before and after toppling Saddam. Despite intelligence strongly warning that transforming Iraq into a democracy would be long and brutal without careful planning, massive troops, and international support, Bush launched the invasion after only 60 days of preparation. Baghdad's infrastructure fell along with the city, leaving large-scale looting, lawlessness, and violent chaos in its wake. Installing neither police forces nor self-governing institutions at this crucial juncture, Rumsfeld's inexperienced team disbanded Iraq's military and intelligence, marginalizing 500,000 armed men—only one of a relentless stream of ill-advised moves that ignited resentment, fomented desperation, and fueled a still-raging Iraqi insurgency.

Ferguson's surgical analysis of the way the U.S. government sparked disaster in Iraq is riveting, information packed, and airtight. In his capable hands, the situation has never been so transparently clear, which makes it even more shocking and tragic.

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards


As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]