Standard Operating Procedure

Watch Standard Operating Procedure

  • R
  • 2008
  • 1 hr 58 min
  • 7.4  (4,092)
  • 70

Standard Operating Procedure is a 2008 documentary film directed by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Errol Morris. It explores the events surrounding the notorious photographs of detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2004. The documentary examines the legal, political and personal consequences of the scandal. Through interviews with several of the guards who were involved in the incidents, the film delves into the circumstances that led to the abuses. The main focus is on the photographs that were taken by the guards themselves, which depicted the abuse of detainees, including acts of torture and humiliation. The film also features interviews with government officials and journalists who were investigating the scandal.

One of the central themes of the film is the concept of 'standard operating procedure', which refers to the chain of command and the rules and regulations that dictate how soldiers should behave in certain situations. The film argues that the abuses were a result of a breakdown in this system, with the guards acting outside of their designated roles and engaging in behavior that was not sanctioned by their superiors.

The documentary raises important questions about the accountability of the military and the government in situations of war and conflict. It examines the role of the media in exposing the abuses and the political fallout that ensued. The film also reveals the personal toll that the scandal took on the guards who were involved as well as their families, many of whom were vilified and harassed by the public and the media.

One of the most striking aspects of the film is the use of reenactments of the events depicted in the photographs. Morris uses a combination of archival footage, interviews, and dramatic recreations to craft a nuanced and powerful narrative. The film's visual style is highly cinematic, with a strong emphasis on composition and lighting. The use of slow-motion and music adds to the emotional impact of the film.

Overall, Standard Operating Procedure is a thoughtful, thought-provoking documentary that sheds light on one of the most shameful episodes in recent US history. It offers a complex and multifaceted analysis of the factors that led to the abuses at Abu Ghraib and the broader implications for democracy and human rights. The film is a powerful testament to the importance of transparency and accountability in times of crisis.

Standard Operating Procedure is a 2008 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 58 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4 and a MetaScore of 70.

Standard Operating Procedure
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 58 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (4,092)
  • Metascore