Movie Article

Director's Chair

Errol Morris' chilling documentary -- The director opens up about the making of ''Standard Operating Procedure''

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.

Originally posted Apr 18, 2008 Published in issue #988-989 Apr 25, 2008 Order article reprints
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