AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


CRITICAL WOMEN HEADLINES

1/13/09

The Torturer: a.k.a Force Drift




Director: Graham Green

From the moment the Torturer started and I, the viewer, was confronted with the image of a torturer, I felt my mind drift to irrelevancies, to almost anything but this low keyed action film that I elected to view.

As the film switched from the actual reenactment of the torture scenes to the plush recovery sessions with the "doctor" apologist for the system of law in support of torture, I anticipated with every change of scene a relief, an end to the torture I experienced as a passive bystander.
Of course, there was none.

As the scenes went first from the actual events of torture to the recollection of the torture sessions from a comfortable upholstered artistically decorated professional office I surrendered to the process, to the moment with the dawning realization that the torturer himself was now out of his mind and that I too was in a limbo state of sanity.

Torture is no longer a lofty and widely disputed intellectual debate about whether or not it leads to finding out the "truth". For me the acts of torture speak to the endless reaction of a vivid imagination, and a science gone wrong without regard to the consequences we face for the torture victim on either side of the process.

This is an anti torture film done with a great deal of thought, of first hand knowledge and a commitment that this is not the way to find the meaning of life nor the source of a potentially deadly act.

As a film The Torturer might reach more viewers but this film is essentially a play to be redone over and over again.

Ideal audience would be politicians
Ideal performers, high school students.

Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective

2 comments:

  1. I agree with her overall assessment of the movie but, in my view, this is too important a subject to be limited to plays. We MUST find ways to get people to watch this important film, as it makes clear the true consequences of torture for our whole society and way of life.

    It shows us that torture is a cancer, likely to metastize and spread throughout our nation.

    Just because we currently have an administration opposed to torture does not mean this will always be true. Until we raise public awareness of this issue, it will always will have the risk of returning.

    Have you considered contacting your local art theater about showing it? Do so!

    Joanna

    PS--I thought this was possibly the finest performance in Nichelle Nichols' whole career!

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  2. It was a good reminder of how strange the idea of the rule of law was under George w. and friends. And yes, it was the best Nichelle Nichols I can remember.

    One thought that went running through my head during this movie is that depleted uranium has a half life of four and one half billion years, not enough to give anyone radiation poisoning, and no better for making dirty bombs than limestone. With so many America and George W. guilty of so many real crimes and atrocities, it shows very poor judgment by Mr. Greene to drag up the silliest accusation made against America in Iraq.

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