Doug -- is the director of acclaimed Hollywood hits as the Bourne identity mister mister Smith but his latest project is not based off of one writers imaginative script but rather. Off of declassified... See More
Doug -- is the director of acclaimed Hollywood hits as the Bourne identity mister mister Smith but his latest project is not based off of one writers imaginative script but rather. Off of declassified government documents documents. That talk about the US government's involvement in interrogating terror suspects. -- waiter -- the -- -- read some of the excerpts from some of the testimony that was given and some of the details quite disturbing. I was born in Kuwait and raised in Lebanon. In 1985. It led to Germany in search of a better life. -- became a citizen and started my own family. I have five children. On December 31 2003. -- took a bus from Germany and Macedonia. When we arrived Macedonian agents confiscated my passport and detain me for 23 days. I was not allowed to contact. I was forced to record -- video saying I hit the tree well. I was handcuffed blindfolded and taken -- building where I was severely. Very powerful and Doug -- is here now. Talk about this project Doug thanks for being with us today -- -- since I'm a little bit about the premise of this project because this is really -- -- -- time. It is well. The project really started with the ACLU with -- and it's extraordinary man -- teams who. Together they were able to actually get about a 130000. Documents declassified. The -- held that the enhanced interrogation took place under the Bush Administration. You know -- -- actually read the document then and that they had this incredible trove of material 130000. Documents. I'm all. -- to -- to we reckon with this and what's. And together we can -- the idea of staging readings of these documents and they're not edited they're not editorialized. It's not. One network vs another left wing -- right -- they're just this is an account of what took place. You know in the years after nine -- and and we just the act of Reading these documents is is incredibly powerful and so we're encouraging people. And we had movie stars people like Robert Redford right come and read them but we're encouraging people to our our website reckoning with -- dot org. To download documents themselves. And just film yourself with your cell phone. Have your friend -- you and send it in and then we're gonna incorporate these readings into complete documentary. And your turn this into a feature length film that's why it's so important -- -- -- -- said you've got to -- you've got some -- you've got other people that might be able to lend. Interpretation to some of these readings why was an important and to get real people to read -- Because -- you think what's at the heart of this you know. Torture -- an an abstract thing it's something that humans did to other humans. And the victims of the US torture program like you heard alma -- You know is this country's never apologized to him. We detain him for five months -- horrible things to him. We've never apologized to him so. Involving not just celebrities but everybody you know just Americans from all walks of life the act of Reading. How -- restatement. Is is an act of them ordinary Americans. Apologizing. For this. Horrible behavior that took place in our name under the Bush Administration. You also got some military members and some former. Former interrogators to cooperate it's actually recent of these was that difficult to do -- mean or we did they voluntarily want to become part of the project. I think the extraordinary thing that when you read these 130000. Documented -- expect anywhere -- to -- of the website you can. Cherry picked them. Is that. How long how much these documents reflect. People in the services. You know having an acts of consciousness. Barack I'm sorry. The you know the -- thing when you look at these documents is that. Really what -- -- reflection. Are his most of them come from actual investigations internal investigations. Is how many people. Acts of conscience. Chose to sort of say this is wrong. And complain to their superiors. And so you know while people say well in the heat of the moment anyone would have done this and -- and -- would have tortured these people. That's not true these documents consistently show the courage of ordinary servicemen. Our people's sense. Iraq Afghanistan to interrogate people subsequent from a -- interrogate. It's choosing saying and -- in residing in some cases saying what we're doing these people is wrong and so. That same act of courage that you saw that generated these documents in the first place you see there's people coming forward now and publicly reading these document. It's your -- probably going to be getting some shock from some audiences because -- -- -- some of these documents. And listen as some of the videos that you have on your website as well. But do you expect push back them from either the government past administrations. Say that -- This is actually harmful to international relations. I can't imagine who would push back -- it's hard to defend torture me it's actually against the law. Bush himself at the same time that. People in -- administration like John you were writing -- saying it's okay to torture people bush was publicly telling the world. We don't torture people and we don't condone torture so. I actually think that it's in the foreign policy interest the United States for this country to reaffirm. Once and for all -- that we don't condone behavior that violates the Geneva convention. And yes when asked him because as we said this is of one of -- the first of its kind really for crowd sourcing and me is this going to be a game changer. To the film industry by going out -- and and actively having people submit their own work. Well I think you're seeing it through things that YouTube that you know there's that the world has already changed -- -- so. For me as a filmmaker it's very powerful experience to participate in -- film where. You -- the bulk of the material won't come from a camera that I'm operating. But that's gonna come from ordinary people using their cell -- using their video cameras and uploading the material. And so it is -- first of a time but I think it's it's the world has changed and we're now finally as filmmakers catching up. To it and even expected release day. Now probably next year some time and can hardly need more information -- reckoning with torture dot org Doug lot of thanks so much for being here and continued success to you think you.
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