Very difficult to watch. While it didn't contain many surprises it certainly laid bare the stark horror of the moral vacuum that is the MO of the armed services where man is a willing weapon that has forsaken its humanity.
I think its not only about what happened at Abu Ghraib, but what is a photograph, a digital photograph at that. Is it real/tangible? Just data? Can it be held as truth? What is the true ontology of a photographic image? I'm not exactly sure about the answers to these questions but they are definitely something to consider. You guys arguing below should try letting the narrative take the backseat next time you watch.
One of the few films to make me physically sick. The torture, degradation, and violence were overwhelming. A flawed film with a very narrow focus. The exclusion of Iraqi voices was troubling. Re-enactments were in poor taste. Still, the film raises a lot of questions about war, the military, photography, and power.
The overly-sympathetic portrayal of Sabrina Harmon was a tad disconcerting (really? the science of facial expressions?), and didn't quite get at the complexity of violence and war. Also, I was a bit frustrated with the high-production, super-stylized reenactments that reeked of ESPN specials. I was expecting a football player to walk in the shot and drip sweat in slow motion.
An important uncovering without a doubt with a fair amount of punches to the "supposed to be good" Americans in Iraq. The problem is really Morris' scope which I find a bit too narrow and repetitive with the whole "I'm just the capo" act over and over. I wanted fresh answers from others and not just the oblivious "cause it seemed right at the time" from the people interviewed.
Morris sets up a limited scope and arguably annoys with his too glossy and meticulous depiction of the human right abuses occurred at Abu Ghraib jail through a string of very candid interviews. The film only steps up a gear near the end where, in a more reflective tone, reveals the wider implications of these attrocities while inviting to adopt a more cynical view on the roles of authority and subordination at war.
Personally I think anyone who looks at dark episodes such as this and attempts to understand has got to be commended in particular participants but also film makers and crews. Sure the views of Iraqi detainees being noticeably missing from the frame. However it does give us a valuable insight into whats considered to be 'standard operating procedures' not to mention some allusionto treatment in interrogation rooms.