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Doctors of the Dark Side


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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shelter Island
  • DVD Release Date: May 7, 2013
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00B2TU38C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,402 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Narrated by Academy Award-winner Mercedes Ruehl, DOCTORS OF THE DARK SIDE is the first feature-length documentary about how health care professionals actively implemented and covered up the tortures in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and the CIA Black Sites. Based on four years of research by Producer/Director Martha Davis, written by Oscar winning Mark Jonathan Harris, and filmed entirely in HD by Emmy winning DP Lisa Rinzler, the riveting film shows how the torture of detainees could not continue without the assistance of these American doctors. The little-known story is told by military, legal and medical experts and portrayed through staged demonstrations of the doctors' role in the Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs) as spelled out in declassified government documents.

Customer Reviews

Well done but a little gratuitous in parts.
timothy franklin
In addition to touching this nerve, Davis' film makes a good case that you can't have systematic legalized torture without corrupting the health professions.
Ian Hansen
This is totally worth seeing and allowing yourself to be surprised by.
Steve Benson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A.M.B. on October 3, 2013
Format: DVD
A courageous, empassioned and unsparing indictment addressing the larger question of the employment of extreme physical coercion in the nation's war on terror and the more focused issue of the degree to which professional ethics should be (and/or have been) compromised or abandoned in the pursuit of our national defense. The means depicted - however they may be characterized - are horrific. Are they justified by the ends they are alleged to serve? And do they, in fact, serve those ends, effectively or at all? These troubling questions, too easily swept aside by the incessant flood of daily news and world events, are deserving of a full airing and careful consideration.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Compusurge on January 24, 2013
Format: DVD
During the course of the past year, DOCTORS OF THE DARK SIDE has been screening at medical and law schools, community centers and colleges, and featured at professional conventions including the International Congress of Psychology. It was also an Official Selection at the United Nations Association Film Festival in late 2012. I was lucky enough to have attended one of university screenings, the result of which is a heightened awareness and understanding of the dynamics of our society and how we decide protect it.

Doctors of the Dark Side is at the heart of the roaring ZERO DARK THIRTY debate about how torture is portrayed in film, and how we as a society perceive it. The torture of detainees in US custody has been in the news for many years, but there is little media attention to the doctors and psychologists who made/make the torture program possible. The CIA and Department of Defense continue to use health professionals in ways that violate centuries of good health care practice... not to mention morality.

Filmmaker Martha Davis has created a powerful, if not highly-explosive expose on the subject of the use of torture by the U.S. military and government agencies. With painstaking attention to detail, using dramatically staged demonstrations coupled with compelling interviews with military, legal and medical personnel, her film asks simple questions that need to be answered by each and every person living in our world - - if not publically, then privately as each individual tries to ascertain who they are and where they want to stand as a society.

Google the film and activate your conscious. Some of the press I found includes statements like:

Doctors of the Dark Side addresses "...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D O'Hara on December 24, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The tortures designed or overseen by psychiatric/psychological professionals serving in the Armed Forces are revolting. The movie is a must-see for anyone interested in social justice, medical ethics, the Geneva Convention and/or stopping the use(less) application of torture in all it's forms to obtain useless information given to stop the process. As a veteran, as a citizen, I'm absolutely appalled that successive administrations have created loopholes to keep torture an option against "high value detainees". I recall hearing my own father, also a vet, telling horrifying stories of his comrades, POW/MIA's, and stories of torture endured by our veterans in Vietnam. I found them heartbreaking, infuriating and primitive. To learn that we continue and continue and continue to use similar inhumane techniques makes me furious at a government that condones it and fearful for our men & women in uniform who may face similar fates in retaliation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By doc on October 8, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An uncompromising look at an issue that brooks no compromise. Physicians, a fraternity that I proudly belong to, and psychotherapists, have a sworn duty to try and heal, and if not able to do so, to at least do no harm. This documentary depicts not only the baseness of a society that allows and condones torture but the total repudiation of these oaths by these "doctor of the dark side". Doctors, and the Professional societies to which they belong should censure these "healers" in a clear and punitive way, and the film should be widely circulated so that the broader society that we all live in should be aware of the harms that are indeed being perpetrated by unconscionable practitioners and their government.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ian Hansen on March 27, 2013
Format: DVD
Martha Davis' film is called _Doctors of the Dark Side_ but _Psychologists of the Dark Side_ (if it were not so much less catchy) would be a title more representative of where the film's outrage is most passionately directed. The film indicts the role of all health professionals who participated in the "interrogations" at Guantanamo, CIA blacksites, Bagram, and Abu Ghraib, but it has a special place in its heart for psychologists, who were (and still are) the most professionally complicit with the post 9/11 U.S. torture regime.

The film also upsets the current gradient of what is called the "torture debate" where human rights activists decry torture as being wrong first, ineffective second, while torture-supporters play up the hypothetical ticking bomb scenario as an obvious justifier of torture under some circumstances, thus making absolute prohibitions against torture seem authoritarian, closed-minded and potentially disastrous to innocent life and limb. Torture supporters can perhaps be forgiven for their abrogation of a basic Archimedian point of Enlightenment morality. Cognitive dissonance--as psychologically ubiquitous as any classic defense mechanism--tends to churn away a person's capacity for moral discernment, and so many torture-supporters "know not what they do". After watching _Doctors of the Dark Side_, however, even the most dissonance-addled defenders of torture will have to pause before finding another way to coat their position with a patina of utilitarian rationality.

Davis' film does not argue so much that torture is wrong (though that is assumed and viscerally reinforced throughout the film) but rather that health professionals especially should not be caught up in it.
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