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.
Morris takes a compassionate approach to the subjects here. The result is a measured and comprehensible illustration of how institutional violence, attitudes and dehumanisation always produces the same results. Cruelty. A very quiet look at the worst aspect of our human nature.
To the poster below me: you must not be very familiar with the history of world powers, because this lack of human decency is hardly exclusive to the United States. The imperialistic flavor of the week has changed a few times, but the human condition has remained relatively constant for better and/or worse.
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.
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.
Are you shitting me!!For real!!Where is the humanity of these soldiers? Human integrity? Morale? Ok yes, they were the black sheep that took all the guilt but come on man.They are also stupid as hell you have to admit, it's obvious from the documentary.How can you be proud of this glorified country? I will never understand that. Video is very nice though the slow motion sequences start to be annoying in a while.
I'd read articles and such by people affiliated with the documentary before, so some of this I had already heard. However, this was very good in simply giving a voice to a side of the story that wasn't commonly heard in the media when the Abu Ghraib thing initially went down. In typical Morris style, the film contains no bias, just merely exposing the facts via testimonials.