Chapter

Torture

Guy Westwell

in Parallel Lines

Published by Columbia University Press

Published in print October 2014 | ISBN: 9780231172035
Published online November 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780231850728 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.7312/columbia/9780231172035.003.0008
Torture

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This chapter focuses on a group of films which feature scenes of torture that implicitly and explicitly reference events at Abu Ghraib. In 2001, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld signed the law permitting the use of torture against suspected terrorists, which resulted in the abuse of terrorist suspects at Abu Ghraib military prison in Iraq. In colour, tone, and lighting, the film Hostel's (2005) mise-en-scène is broadly similar to the photographs of torture chambers at Abu Ghraib, and a number of its plot elements can be read as uneasy recognitions of rendition and torture. On the other hand, the film Saw (2004) functions as allegory for a complex view of the ‘war on terror’ that emerged in the aftermath of Abu Ghraib.

Keywords: Abu Ghraib; Donald Rumsfeld; torture; Hostel; Saw; war on terror

Chapter.  7962 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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