Standard Operating Procedure [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
I had pinned great hope on that. It didn't turn out that way.
My perspective on the Abu Ghraib scandal came from spending from September 2003 to February 2004 at the Iraq prison as a sergeant in Army Intelligence. Working the 8 p.m.-to- 8 a.m. night shift, it was impossible not to notice who was directing the operation. And I shared all this with Morris.
But now I've seen the film and I'm disappointed. Morris does little to get to the bottom of what happened. He muddies already opaque waters regarding who was actually responsible for the abuse of prisoners.
The film focuses on the awful photos, the people in them and those who took them. This perspective plays right into the hands of the cover-up artists. It perpetuates the myth that the abuses are rightfully laid at the feet of those impressionable, but very human, young soldiers.
Morris should have been looking up the chain of command; at the civilian and military officials actually responsible for ordering these Military Police Reservists to rough up prisoners.
A no-holds-barred documentary? Give me a break.
Finally, the Whole Truth!
I was first put into contact with the makers of "SOP" while I was still in the Army. From the beginning, I was told this was going to be a huge project with the production support of Sony Pictures Entertainment; and that Morris, who had won an Oscar with his documentary, "The Fog of War," would be at the helm.Read more ›
The reviewer makes clear that he believes the film spends too much time "humanizing" the military personnel when instead it should have been placing blame. He wanted the film to single out the civilian interrogators as the responsible persons so that, I guess, we can wipe our hands and move on.
It's distressing that his is the top-rated review because he is doing the precise thing that the film magnifies to absurdity: Telling the simple story, reaching the simple conclusion, identifying the "bad guys," and being satisfied with your tidy little explanation.
It's easier to theorize about human behavior than it is to look at it.
It's easy to look at the photos from Abu Ghraib and construct stories. A social psychologist might say that Abu Ghraib illustrates the results of the Stanford Prison Experiment. An economist might say that "rational" people were responding to grim incentives. An evolutionary biologist might say that Abu Ghraib merely shows apes gone amok amid environmental pressures. A neurochemist might say that the military personnel were experiencing a severe chemical imbalance in the brain.
It's hard to do what Errol Morris did, which is to examine the events that actually happened and listen to the people involved. The result -- this movie -- shows how grossly inadequate simple stories can be.
Before watching Errol Morris's films, it's important to understand that he does not make traditional "issue" or "historical" documentaries like you might see on PBS.Read more ›
Now, the well-known documentarian Errol Morris ("Mr. Death", "The Thin Blue Line", "The Fog of War") turns his eye to one small part of the current conflict, Abu Ghraib.
Morris, like Michael Moore, is an unconventional documentarian. Both almost overtly inject themselves, their thoughts and views into their exploration of the subject matter. And both are usually criticized for this practice. Every good documentary displays the filmmaker's strong point of view. This is why the film is made in the first place, someone wants to share their view on a topic, the filmmaker was interested, disturbed, concerned about something. Moore has been criticized because he has taken on politically charged ideas. Morris is now turning his eye on politically themed ideas and is receiving similar criticism. In my mind, even when their films are flawed, they are interesting and meaningful because the directors are passionate about their point of view. Why would you want to see a documentary without a strong point of view? Such a film would be boring and pointless.
I would find it hard to believe that you haven't seen at least one picture to come out of this prison in Iraq, a prison the American forces took over and converted into an interrogation facility for the prisoners they were also holding there. As soon as the story broke, some of the pictures were shown on every news show and cable network ad nausea until the next big story broke.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I watched this film after getting interested in the subject and watching other films on the subject. Mr. Morris handles the subject very well and keeps your attention till the end. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Practical Vegan
This is another brilliant documentary from director Errol Morris. The film is both an examination of the scandal and subsequent courts-martial surrounding the revelation of the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Glenn Harcourt
Totally haunting and revealing look at not only what happened in Abu Ghraib but how the events there were, if not misconstrued, then certainly misunderstood by many.Published 8 months ago by tarterjo
This is an excellent documentary that looks into the prison abuse in Iraq during the 2nd Iraq war. It's bone chilling and informative, but don't be surprised if some find it... Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by Blackdawn
"Standard Operating Procedure" follows the plight of what happened to some of the former soldiers from the Abu Gharaib Prison scandal. Read morePublished on July 8, 2013 by marriedmoneywizardintraining
Everything is fine except there's no subtitle. I bought it for some assignments in university but there's no subtitle. There are many online free version. With $9. Read morePublished on November 6, 2012 by Frances
It's just a shame that people like this director,has got more compassion on the monster terrorists,than the actual victims that these maniacs have killed. Read morePublished on September 11, 2012 by Ishmael
PROS: This deep and gripping documentary film investigates the context of the infamous photographs taken at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2003-2004 that show the abuse of Iraqi... Read morePublished on July 31, 2011 by Timur Shtatland