Sunday, May 04, 2008

Morris' Documentary on Abu Ghraib a whitewash

According to this gentleman:

Morris takes pride in calling “SOP” a horror movie and – with the mood music and the needless slow-motion reenactments – he makes sure of that.

However, “SOP” does little more than humanize some of the “bad apples” (a good thing, I suppose), while gratuitously absolving the civilian interrogators actually responsible for fouling those apples.

I really love Morris' movies and his First Person TV series. But I think his latest films are getting a bit too ambitious for his style. I have not seen Fog of War--I'm too worried about its inadequacy in addressing the horrors of the Vietnam War. (Interesting that Morris calls Standard Operating Procedure a "horror" movie.) Anyhow, I'll eventually watch them; but documentaries have never been substitute for investigative journalism. On the other hand, despite the topic, such as Idi Amin, or Jean-Bédel Bokassa, a good documentary tells truths that can't be told in any other format. The last one of course is by the master, but I'm wary of both Herzog and his protege Morris because they never let the truth get in the way of telling the story. That's a vulgar way of putting it--Herzog speaks of the ecstatic (or aesthetic?) truth being different from "The Accountant's Truth." But he also was responsible for Herzog's shoe eating.

No comments: