Beneath the Blindfold

Last night, JRC was honored to host an important program in recognition of Human Rights Week. We were joined by Dr. Mary Fabri, Senior Director of the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture, along with documentary filmakers Ines Sommer and Kathy Berger, who presented the first public showing of the trailer for their new film, “Beneath the Blindfold.” That’s Dr. Fabri above on the right, next to Ines, Kathy and JRC member Ellen Rosen Kaplan, who organized the program for our congregation.

Though torture is now infamously on the political radar screen of most Americans, the one dimension of this issue that is too often neglected is the profoundly traumatic effect of torture on torture survivors themselves. The film sensitively but powerfully presented the stories of several survivors, each of whom have been forever transformed and are responding differently to the reality of their experiences. Even at just eight minutes, the “Beneath the Blindfold” demo reel offered a profound insight into the human cost of torture, on survivors, their families, and on society itself.  Perhaps most important, the film gives a real, human face to the human beings behind this political issue.

The brief taste of the film was sometimes painful, but in the end, deeply inspiring. After the showing, Dr. Fabri, Ines and Kathy led an extended conversation on the film and the complex, critical issues it raises. By evening’s end, we were motivated all the more to work to end the sacrilege of torture once and for all.

Ines and Kathy are currently editing “Beneath the Blindfold” and continue to raise the funds they need to finish the film. I believe this is a movie that must be completed and seen by as many people as possible. If you would like to contribute, contact the filmakers at or

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