27 April 2008

Interview with Errol Morris

Despite appearances, the Onion AV Club is actually one of the best movie review and information sites I've seen, and their interviews are top-notch. Not the least of which is this one of Errol Morris, famed documentarian of (among others) Mr. Death and the Oscar-winning The Fog of War. His latest is Standard Operating Procedure about the Abu Ghraib scandal, and it sounds as fascinating as ever.

AVC: They just were foolish enough to be within the frame. Or not even foolish: They didn't think anything was wrong with being in the frame.

EM: I actually think it's neither of that. I think they knew it was wrong. Look at Sabrina's letters. She's constantly writing about how this is immoral. That's another misconception about this, that these guys were void of morality. But see, they're all wrestling with morality. I wonder, do people forget that it's the military? You know, they were following orders. Uh-eh-hem! It's the military! What do you think people do in the military?! Sabrina is constantly saying "This is wrong." She also talks about taking the pictures as proof that the stuff is wrong. Here's another irony. You can take a picture thinking you are providing proof that the army is guilty of A, B, C, and D. And that picture can be used to prove that you are a sadist with respect to A, B, C, and D. In many instances, they took the pictures to protect themselves. That's what's sooooo unbelievably bizarre about all of it. And they at least had some rational reason to believe that. Sabrina Harman, on November 4, 2003, gets into the shower where they've stored a corpse for the night. A corpse of the guy who was killed by the CIA. That's what happened there.

Anyway, it looks fascinating -- this and Taxi to the Dark Side are most definitely on my too-see list if they ever get anywhere near Huntsville.

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