Alex Gibney exposes the haunting details of the USA's torture and interrogation practices during the War in Afghanistan.Alex Gibney exposes the haunting details of the USA's torture and interrogation practices during the War in Afghanistan.Alex Gibney exposes the haunting details of the USA's torture and interrogation practices during the War in Afghanistan.
The chief first hand accounts of information are from U.S. Military personnel who have been convicted of crimes (with the exception of one British national who has a harrowing, convincing story to tell). While what they have to say is compelling, the absence of any testimony of those who gave them those orders is absent. We have their attorneys or third parties removed to interpret what happened...or might have happened. While I couldn't be more sympathetic to the bind we've placed our young men and women in, the last thing I wanted to hear from an individual who's been convicted of torture and "wrongful death" (labeled a homicide by the coroner) is "I'm financially ruined." The moral quandary raised by the film isn't nearly answered until the final credits roll.
And where is Congress? Where is the oversight they are obligated to perform? Oh, they're holding hearings on steroid use in baseball.
We're never sure exactly what we're looking at. "Reenactments" are identified briefly, but clearly there is a lot that isn't documentary footage, and the famous photos of Abu Ghrabib reappear over and over frequently out of context.
This is a shameful chapter in American history, and it needs a less doctrinaire film to expose what are, as pointed out, crimes of war. One of the most effective moments is when the filmmaker's father appears over the closing credits. He is a former interrogator in WWII. His outrage rings true, and it should be every American's cry as well.
- Michael Fargo
- Feb 8, 2008