Ghosts of Abu Ghraib Facing the Darkness Within
Project DetailsReleased 2007
Production Company HBO/MoxieFirecracker Films/Directed by Rory Kennedy
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Wielding startlingly candid interviews with perpetrators, witnesses, and victims, GHOSTS OF ABU GHRAIB provides an inside look at the abuses that occurred at the Iraqi prison in the fall of 2003. Award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy explores how, given the right circumstances, typical boys and girls next door can commit atrocious acts of violence.
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HBO/Moxie Firecrackers Films
Directed by Rory Kennedy
Produced by Rory Kennedy, Liz Garbus, Jack Youngelson
Written by Jack Youngelson
Edited by Sari Gilman
Original Score by Miriam Cutler
Awards & Festivals
Premiered in competition at Sundance 2007
Broadcast on HBO starting in February 2007
Primetime Emmy award winner 2008, Outstanding Non Fiction Special
Emmy Award nomination, Outstand Non Fiction Editing
Nominated, 2007 Grand Jury Prize in Documentary, Sundance Film Festival
Gracie Award for Outstanding Director, News Series or Special, Gracie Allen Awards
“A potent piece of documentary filmmaking.” ~ Cinematical
“Ghosts of Abu Ghraib,” a documentary by Rory Kennedy on HBO tonight, looks up and down the chain of command to examine how and why the abuse took place. It is not a new line of inquiry; a 2005 PBS “Frontline” documentary went over the same ground and also concluded that responsibility for the excesses trickled upward all the way to Washington.
But the raw material never ceases to shock. How is it that a government that took such bold steps to reinterpret the Geneva Conventions and update the rules of combat did not pay closer attention to how its policy changes were carried out on the ground? The Pentagon didn’t even manage to shield the worst excesses from public view.
"Ghosts of Abu Ghraib” will appall and sadden viewers worried about human rights and international law. But it will be just as discouraging for those who believe that the danger posed by Al Qaeda trumps even those humanitarian concerns.
Abu Ghraib wasn’t just a moral failure, it was a strategic setback in the war against terror."
~ Alessandra Stanley, NY Times TV Review
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