Oscar's Documentary Shortlist
DIRECTOR: Alex Gibney
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: The film and TV veteran also exec produced another one of this year’s shortlisted war-themed docs, Charles Ferguson’s “No End in Sight.” He was nominated in the doc feature category in 2006 for “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”
FINANCING: $1 million from equity and foreign presales.
THEME: An in-depth look at the abuse of prisoners at Bagram, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons with interviews by former high-ranking U.S. government officials and the soldiers who were involved.
VARIETY REVIEW SAYS: “Alex Gibney has crafted more than just an important document of systemic abuse — he’s stripped the rhetoric from official doublespeak to expose a callous disregard for not only the Geneva Conventions but the vision of the Founding Fathers.”
DISTRIBUTION STATUS: ThinkFilm for U.S. theatrical and DVD; Discovery Communications for TV in U.S. and Canada.
ON THE MAKING OF THE FILM: “When I went to Guantanamo Bay, I found the administration had turned it into a theme park, a crazy dog-and-pony show run by private contractors — and, of course, Haliburton had the prison building concessions. They sold T-shirts with slogans like Behavior Modification Instructor. Can you imagine? All the press bought them.”