Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris first rose to prominence as a brilliant storyteller and camera-toting activist with his 1988 film The Thin Blue Line. The film told the story of Randall Adams, a man sitting on Texas's death row for a murder he didn't commit of a Dallas police officer. Morris's documentary helped Adams eventually get released from prison. For Morris's latest film, Standard Operating Procedure, he went back to the topic of incarceration, this time in Iraq. The movie examines the events that led up to and surrounded the Abu Ghraib prison torture and abuse scandal. Morris avoids the strategy of simply rehashing news reports, showing photos of prisoners in humiliating positions, and crucifying the U.S. military. Morris says he believes that had a camera not been present at the prison, some particularly cruel activities, including making piles of inmates, would never have happened. Through interviews with some of those who committed the heinous acts, Morris actually humanizes the horrid affair, and shows that Abu Ghraib was a failure not only of the Army's chain of command, but of real people with names and faces, and stories to tell.
Tue., April 15, 7:30 p.m., 2008