ACLU, PEN, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center Present “Reckoning with Torture”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York City, May 10, 2011—The American Civil Liberties Union, PEN American Center and the Film Society of Lincoln Center will present a special performance of “Reckoning With Torture: Memos and Testimonies From the ‘War on Terror’” on Tuesday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m. EDT at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater. Acclaimed director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Fair Game) will direct this powerful performance featuring readings from formerly secret government documents, videos, and original art that shine a light on the scope and human cost of the post-9/11 torture program. The event, which follows a similar event presented at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival by Liman, the ACLU and PEN, is being filmed as part of a national documentary film project aimed at promoting accountability for torture.
“It’s a privilege to work with the ACLU and PEN American Center on this important project,” said Liman. “As the documents we are presenting make clear, there is no longer any doubt that the United States repeatedly and systematically violated longstanding prohibitions on torture. It is also clear from the record, as we hear throughout this program, that many courageous men and women stood up against torture and abuse. We’re at a pivotal moment in history, and my hope is that America will honor these men and women and choose a path toward restoring this nation as a defender of human rights.”
Writers Russell Banks, Dahlia Lithwick, Peter Godwin, Rula Jebreal, Beth Gutcheon, Kati Marton, John Buffalo Mailer; Actors Dianne Wiest, Aasif Mandvi, Lili Taylor, and other internationally acclaimed writers and artists will join former Guantánamo prosecutor Col. Morris Davis and former CIA case officer Jack Rice to read from the detailed reports of numerous prisoners, government memos authorizing abusive techniques, and other documents detailing the scope and disastrous human cost of the U.S. torture program. Original videos of former Guantánamo detainees discussing the abuse they endured will be screened between readings. The artist Jenny Holzer, whose work was the subject of a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2009, has created original artwork for the “Reckoning” project. Many of the readings come from government documents obtained by the ACLU in a lawsuit that the New York Times recently described as “among the most successful in the history of public disclosure.”
The ACLU and PEN have been staging “Reckoning With Torture” events around the country for the past two years. Doug Liman joined the project in late 2010 and staged and filmed “Reckoning With Torture” before a live audience at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011. The Sundance event marked the start of production of a feature length documentary, which will also be directed by Liman.