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Abu Ghraib documentary

ErrolMorris.jpgErrol Morris is to tackle the Abu Ghraib Iraqi prison scandal in film and has begun developing the film already. It will examine the now infamous incidents of abuse of prisoners at the hands of the US soldiers, something which was seen across the world after they took trophy pictures home from the war in 2004.

I would be more concerned if this film was in the hands of other filmmakers, Morris has a strong reputation and may well look to the story from both sides. He created the documentary The Fog of War and The Thin Blue Line.

However I am concerned that such things as the soldiers themselves may be skirted over, the effect of war on them, their command structure, the regular use and not so secret endorsement of these types of torture by various organisations in the world, including the US. I do hope that there's a hefty amount of balance and considered viewpoints piled in the film.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking any personal view on what happened there. What I am saying is that in every single issue there are two sides to a story, and for people to accept what one side says in an accessible forum such as the western press without listening properly to the other side, well I'm not so sure that's entirely fair or just. So we can just hope that all sides of this tale are presented in the documentary and that we're left to draw our own conclusions.

The news comes from Reuters and tells us that Sony Pictures Classic will back the film, a company that have been responsible for backing a number of strong documentaries of late, including An Inconvenient Truth (review).



It would be too worrying if doccumentaries like these were not made. A healthy system needs to show its own failures to correct them. The Fogs of War is preceded with an excellent reputation. No time to be biaised, but to analyze facts.

Nobody seems to be interested in the truth. But we should care. Anyway, it´s interesting that best doccumentaries about US failures in politics come from US itself.

Actually Peter that really is an incredibly interesting point. You would expect that the strongest voices about the US system really couldn't come from the US itself, but many do.

I read about Channel 4 in the UK making a drama about British soldiers coming home from Iraq with similar pictures. The write up I read seems to promise that it will look at the difficulties that the soldiers face integrating with society after being subjected to the pressures of war and requirements of being a soldier.

I too think that it's good to present these type of stories openly, it's also good to show people what it really means to be a soldier during a war. At the same time however, numbers of new recruits are down and in the British Army there is a growing shortage.

Errol Morris strikes me as probably the ideal person for such a film. His films have gone into some pretty dark moral territory before, and you don't get much morally darker than the Abu Ghraib debacle.


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