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In an age of terrorism, extracting information from the enemy can be more important than flexing military might.
This candid documentary interviews the interrogators and state torturers to discover the methods varying from gentle encouragement to coercion to physical and psychological torture. The film examines the use of ‘torture by proxy’ and looks back to how the experience of British and American POWs during the Korean War fuelled an enormous research programme in interrogation techniques developing everything from hallucinogenic drugs to electric shocks.
In modern times, the attacks of 9/11 triggered the subsequent capture, confinement and interrogation of thousands of terrorist suspects in Afghanistan, Guantanamo and Iraq. Testifying to Congress in September 2002, Cofer Black, then head of CIA’s counter terrorism centre, said: “There was a before 9/11 and there was an after 9/11. After 9/11 the gloves came off”.
According to Amnesty international, torture is a growing industry with over 130 countries known to practice torture today. At the heart of this film lies the dilemma of the interrogation room. Does torture work? How far should the democratic state go in questioning suspects in order to protect that democracy? And how brutal an interrogation regime will the public tolerate?
Filmed in France, Israel, USA, Algeria, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa and UK .
A BBC Production
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