Friday, December 21, 2007

MPAA playing politics with torture? And other sordid tales...

If you didn't have enough reason to dislike the heavy-handed approach of the MPAA it seems they're also playing a game of heavy-handed political censorship.

MPAA rejects Gibney's 'Dark' poster
Org objects to hood on torture docu's one-sheet


'Taxi to the Dark Side'
The MPAA has rejected the one-sheet for Alex Gibney's documentary "Taxi to the Dark Side," which traces the pattern of torture practice from Afghanistan's Bagram prison to Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo Bay.

ThinkFilm opens the pic, which is on the Oscar shortlist of 15 docs, on Jan. 11.

The image in question is a news photo of two U.S. soldiers walking away from the camera with a hooded detainee between them.

It seems this isn't the first time they've played these reindeer games either:

The MPAA also rejected the one-sheet for Roadside Attractions' 2006 film "The Road to Guantanamo," which featured a hooded prisoner hanging from his handcuffed wrists. At the time, according to Howard Cohen, co-president of Roadside Attractions, the reason given was that the burlap bag over the prisoner's head depicted torture, which was not appropriate for children to see.

Well at least they're not pretending it isn't torture...

"Not permitting us to use an image of a hooded man that comes from a documentary photograph is censorship, pure and simple," said producer, writer and director Gibney. "Intentional or not, the MPAA's disapproval of the poster is a political act, undermining legitimate criticism of the Bush administration. I agree that the image is offensive; it's also real."

If the image is offensive then how much moreso the act?

The "Taxi" ad art is actually an amalgam of two pictures. The first, taken by Corbis photographer Shaun Schwarz, features the hooded prisoner and one soldier. Another military figure was added on the left. Ironically, the original Schwarz photo was censored by the military, which erased his camera's memory. The photographer eventually retrieved the image from his hard drive.

"It's the photo that would not die," Gibney said. "This movie is not a horror film like 'Hostel.' This is a documentary and that image is a documentary image."


Also while we're at it leveymg shines a light on a particularly sordid tale in THE CIA OFFICIAL WHO OVERSAW TORTURE: Cofer Black

It seems that Cofer Black is now Vice Chairman of the mercenary group Blackwater:


February 4, 2005

Ambassador Cofer Black Becomes Vice-Chairman at Blackwater USA

Blackwater USA proudly announces that Ambassador Cofer Black, former Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the U. S. State Department, and former Director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center has joined our team as Vice Chairman.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Erik Prince stated, "Ambassador Black brings with him 30 years of experience in combating terrorism around the globe and absolute devotion to freedom and democracy and the United States of America. We are honored to have him as part of our great team"


Not to mention that he's an advisor for Romney and was a Bin Laden specialist...

Oh... Fer fooks sake!

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