How did you decide on this topic?
I had become interested in war photography…and one of the things that fascinated me was how photographs can be misinterpreted. I thought, ”Why not talk to the people who took the Abu Ghraib photographs? No one else really has.”
Of those you interviewed here, who surprised you the most?
Lynndie [England], because she had been described as completely inarticulate, couldn’t even talk, might have been brain-damaged. She is articulate. She is endlessly interesting.
Did you have a mission in making this film?
I have this old-fashioned American belief that it’s wrong to punish the little guys and let the big guys go off scot-free. This is not to say that the [soldiers] are blameless, but I have a need to turn them back into people, [not] monsters. This is not a film that lectures. It’s an attempt to take you into a strange world and an opportunity to think about it. If I’ve done my job, I’ve captured the nightmare and I’ve captured the complexity of that nightmare.