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Ghosts of Abu Ghraib

4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In this emotionally jarring piece from HBO Documentary Films, award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy explores the dark events that occurred in 2003 at Abu Ghraib, the infamous Iraqi prison. Interweaving news and archival footage, unsettling still photos of the crimes, and eyewitness accounts from military personnel and victims, The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib offers new insights into these events. The result is a startling look at how extreme situations can give rise to abusive behavior among soldiers, as well as how the chain of command and even US policy set the stage for these abuses to occur.

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO
  • DVD Release Date: June 12, 2012
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0085A9KSK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,509 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

I'm fearful of treading into politics, but I will attempt to be as nonpartisan as possible. Having just viewed the HBO documentary "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" by Rory Kennedy, I do feel that it is one of the better films I have seen lately. And while many will infer whatever political agenda that they happen to subscribe to--either that this film is ridiculous propaganda or that it speaks undeniable and unpleasant truths--I will limit my brief review to the content of the film. What I admired about "Ghosts" is that it is a relatively straightforward presentation by those involved in the incident itself. Filmed with no narration, the actual participants in the event are interviewed extensively. With dignity and candor, they take responsibility for that moment in time, a moment that will follow them for the rest of their lives. There are no histrionics, no excessive drama. The film just examines an event that became a public spectacle. And as a public spectacle, it opened a floodgate of controversy and criticism about human rights, international law, and America's role in being a world leader.

As the American presence in Iraq grew more prominent, Abu Ghraib prison became a holding cell for anyone suspected of having knowledge of terrorist activities. With too few guards and too many inmates, the situation was not ideal. When photos surfaced in the press showing American troops (acting as guards) engaged in humiliation techniques, it ignited much unwanted attention. The Americans directly involved were cast as rogue agents who had gotten out of control. But all maintain they were under specific orders to disorient and humiliate the prisoners to make them more receptive to interrogation.
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The feature is quite clear that this shameful episode in Iraq was permitted to exist by the top brass. The tragedy is that the investigation covered up the facts that the Pentagon allowed and perhaps encouraged this to happen.
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By Jerry A. on January 31, 2014
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Movie goers - Get this and watch it on a lazy night. Lazy saturday with popcorn. You will enjoy it - get surround sound you will need it.
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By Kristen W. on December 30, 2014
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It is pretty graphic and should have a warning for viewers.
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