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Sun Jan 15, 2012, 12:07 AM

"Estimates place the number of torture survivors living in the U.S. at 500,000". [View all]

beneath the blindfold

Co-directed by Chicago-based filmmakers Kathy Berger and Ines Sommer, Beneath the Blindfold interweaves the personal stories of four torture survivors who now reside in the U.S., but originally hail from different parts of the globe: South and Central America, Africa, and the U.S.

While Beneath the Blindfold addresses torture as a global human rights issue, the film does not shy away from touching on both the historical and the more recent U.S. involvement in torture and the question that this raises: why were we so willing to accept the use of torture in our name?

Despite the media coverage of abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, the voices of torture survivors have rarely been fully heard in the ensuing public discussion about the use of torture. Without their stories, torture remains abstract, a practice that happens to people we neither know nor care about. They become statistics, their human suffering easily ignored.

Film explores victims’ view of torture

Q: What is you ultimate goal for this film? What do you hope it will accomplish?

A: My greatest hope for this film is that it will raise awareness. Four years ago there was a Pew research poll that said 43 percent of Americans condone torture. I just hope we can reach people and help them understand that torture is actually not an effective way to get information, that it has been discredited by interrogators, and that it is a terrible violation of human rights. If we can make any sort of a dent in that percentage, that would be wonderful.

Accused War Criminals Make Home in U.S.

Like citizens of other countries ravaged by brutal regimes, many refugees who survived Barre's rule came to America to start over and live quietly among the population.

But shockingly, along with refugees and victims of war crimes, some alleged war criminals themselves have emigrated to the United States, escaping retribution for the monstrous acts they may have committed at home.

Men accused of human rights abuses from Somalia to Venezuela have laid their own claims to the American dream and now enjoy the same freedoms they're accused of trying to take away from their own people. It may seem impossible, but one of these men -- some allegedly responsible for mass murder, torture and the destruction of entire populations -- might literally be living next door.

In case anyone wants to see the film.

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Reply "Estimates place the number of torture survivors living in the U.S. at 500,000". [View all]
Solly Mack Jan 2012 OP
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