Morris lets relentless lens do the work for "Standard Operating Procedure"

Minutes before the Boston-area premiere (at Brandeis) of “Standard Operating Procedure” on April 17, Academy Award winner Errol Morris spoke to BrandeisNOW about his startling work on the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. True to form, Morris declined to characterize the film himself before the screening, opting instead to answer just a couple of questions and let his audience members absorb and interpret for themselves the film's full impact. As one viewer said after the film, Morris is relentless with his camera, as if he is telling his viewers not to blink. He lets the images and the interviews do the real work.

In the film, Morris examines photographs that depict abuse and torture of prisoners held by the United States in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Accusations and photographs of prisoner abuse began circulating in 2004, which led to the removal of more than a dozen American soldiers and officers from duty. Several of them, including some of those interviewed in "Standard Operating Procedure," were convicted and sentenced to federal prison based on the photographs they took behind the prison walls.

The film will open in select theaters nationwide in May. It officially debuted in February at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival and was awarded the Silver Bear Jury Grand Prize.

Morris previously won an Oscar for his 2003 documentary “Fog of War,” and widespread acclaim for an earlier work, "The Thin Blue Line." His most recent visit to Brandeis was sponsored by the Edie and Lew Wasserman fund and the Film Studies Program at Brandeis.

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