Standard Operating Procedure (2008)

Dir. Errol Morris

I know Mitchell likes documentaries, so I’d recommend this to him. I’d also recommend this to Chris, Kevin, Penny and Grace. I think John and Tony would find this interesting, but I’m not sure. I’m not sure about Marc, but if I had to guess, I wouldn’t recommend this to him. I’m pretty sure Joel, Jill, Don and Larri wouldn’t care to watch this.

Errol Morris’ documentaries often go beyond their subject, exploring issues that may be only remotely related. For example, while this film focuses on the infamous photographs of abuse and torture at Abu Gharib prison and the people who took the photos, the film also explores the medium of photojounarlism—especially the way photographs reveal and hide information.

One of the things I liked was the intention of the film. Morris said that while the photos are extremely famous and even significant, very few people seemed interested in the people who took them: who they were; the pressures they faced and the reasons they took these pictures. His film tries to answer to those questions.

I had a lot to say about the film, but I saw this awhile ago, and I no longer remember all of my remarks. I do remember feeling like I wished Morris underscored and provided evidence that the soldiers’ behaviors were more a result of policies emanating from the Department of Defense. I also felt like I detected more of Morris’ political leanings influencing the filmmaking, not in a positive way.

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