“Beneath the Blindfold” and Torture’s Tragic Legacy

“Zero Dark Thirty” hasn’t come to Chicago yet, so I can’t weigh in on the controversy surrounding its portrayal of the torture in the Bin Laden raid. Having read countless articles already, however (most notably the pointed criticisms by Glenn Greenwald), I can safely say it’s going to be pretty hard for me to overcome my prejudices going in. I certainly can’t imagine feeling sanguine about a film that gives the mistaken (and dangerous) impression that torture “works.” Still, I’ll do my best to keep an open mind – and offer my thoughts after I’ve actually seen the movie.

In the meantime, if you’re looking interested in a film that accurately and powerfully explores torture’s tragic legacy, check out “Beneath the Blindfold,” a new documentary by Evanston-based independent filmmakers Ines Somer and Kathy Berger. The film follows the lives of four torture survivors – a nurse from Africa, an actor from Colombia, A US Navy veteran from Chicago, and a physician from Guatemala – and documents their journeys as they attempt to build new lives, careers, and relationships. Despite the painful fallout from their experiences, we witness each of them becoming empowered to speak out and become public advocates for an end to torture.

“Beneath the Blindfold” has been garnering rave reviews and was just voted the Best Political Documentary of 2012 by the Chicago Reader. JRC was honored to host Ines and Kathy four years ago when they showed and discussed some footage of their work in progress. Now that the film in finished, we are thrilled to screening and discussion with the filmmakers on Saturday, January 19 at 7:00, in partnership with Percolator Films. (Click here for more info.)

Click here for Ines’ and Kathy’s recent interview with Jerome McDonnell on WBEZ’s Worldview.

2 thoughts on ““Beneath the Blindfold” and Torture’s Tragic Legacy

  1. Neal Chambers

    Torture, or fear of torture, may have a limited success rate at times I conclude by induction. The problems include the numerous times that result in misinformation and the proclivity of the method to attract and program people with sadistic tendencies. Torture becomes part of the torturers identity and that carries back into society. This feeds violence and intimidation as mechanisms of society at large and decays that society which practices torture. Torture breeds violent bullying in people and evolves into subjecting people to pain and suffering for no other purpose than to feed the ego of those involved in torture.

    I think it is also important to note here that with the history Michael Moore has presented regarding a crime families association with the Bin Laden family, the numerous conflicting facts of 9-11, the history of Khomeini and that same crime familiy that spirited Khomeini away in 1953 when the Shah was installed in Iran, put him on CIA payroll until he was needed and then recalled him to orchestrate the American Hostage Crisis to undermine Jimmy Carter and reinstate the Republican Party thereby returning the agenda of the military industrial complex into a dominant position in U.S. Foreign Policy, we may conclude beyond the shadow of a doubt that Osama bin Laden had virtually nothing to do with 9-11 other than to take credit to justify U.S. invasions of Iraq (2nd time) and Afganistan. From the scene at the time of the assassination of bin Laden, it appears he was being protected and supplied with drugs and money. This seems commonplace for our intelligence agency.

    Furthermore, one may conclude that Osama bin Laden was ‘blabbing’ to his nearby associates in Pakistani Intelligence about how he was in fact paid by Americans to take credit for 9-11 and that his death was not so much an execution of a criminal as presented by our media, but an act of silencing a voice that threatened enormous problems in the future for those perpetrating the deception of 9-11 as part of a joint effort on behalf of the Military Industrial Complex (profit through destruction), the Bilderbergers (profit through rebuilding), the Mercenary Interests (profit from archaeological looting and employment), profit from taking control of Iraqi Oil, profit from taking control of Opium production and mining in Afganistan and profit from the intimidation of other nations to perform as required by multi national corporations or expect consequences.


  2. Steve Hinman

    For the anti-torture, liberal readers of the blog…I urge you to read the New York Times article, “Ex-Officer Is First From C.I.A. to Face Prison for a Leak” and think about how building alliances with the Christian right can at times further our goals.

    From the NYT article….”Only Liberty University, the conservative Christian institution founded by Jerry Falwell Sr. in Lynchburg, Va., where Mr. Kiriakou was hired by former C.I.A. officers on the faculty to teach intelligence courses, actually increased the work it offered him when he got in trouble.

    “They say torture is un-Christian,” Mr. Kiriakou said, who notes wryly that his fervent supporters now include both the Liberty Christians and an array of left-wing activists.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s