Errol Morris is hitting the headlines at the moment for his film Standard Operating Procedure, an eye-opening snapshot of the life inside Abu Ghraib, famous for those pictures. Morris’s film features in-depth footage from interviews with the prosecuted grunts who carried out what are now the best-know acts of prisoner abuse in history, give or take.
He paired up with Philip Gourevitch, who committed the substance of the film to paper for his book of the same name. Gourevitch has a skill for cataloguing atrocities, having cut his teeth on the genre with his book about the Rwandan genocide in 1994, the chilling ‘We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With our Families’.
Gourevitch’s journalistic credentials are lofty, high-brow and unimpeachable. And he’s a nice guy in person, too. I met him to chat about his book a while back – the result is below. Oh, and the headline? Stolen from the Irish Times, so don’t go calling me tasteless.
America’s Blame (June 22, 2008)