Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (2007)



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Award winning documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy explores the human and political consequences of one of the most bitter scandals of the war in Iraq in this feature. In the 1960's, a prison was built in Abu Ghraib, an Iraqi city west of Baghdad, and during the regime of Saddam Hussein it became a center of torture and abuse where political dissidents were subjected to agonizing punishment or death. Following the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003, the prison was taken over by American military authorities, and was used as a holding facility for prisoners of war and suspected terrorists captured by U.S. forces. The prison's reputation as a site of widespread abuse rose again when journalists discovered photographs of Iraqi prisoners being tortured and humiliated in an ugly variety of ways by American soldiers, a scandal which had a major impact on international thinking about the war. Ghosts of Abu Ghraib offers an in-depth look at the story behind the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, featuring interviews with observers on both sides of the national divide. Ghosts of Abu Ghraib received its world premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for Ghosts of Abu Ghraib

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

... the real lesson of Ghosts is that torture coarsens the torturer. We end up screaming at ourselves.

Jan 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Not only does the film thoroughly and skillfully explain the context in which something as heinous as Abu Ghraib could happen, it attempts to understand the psychology of those involved.

Jan 25, 2007

Methodically relating the story -- as told by several of the U.S. soldiers involved -- whose leak to the media badly damaged U.S. credibility, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib makes grim but worthwhile viewing.

Jan 24, 2007
Top Critic

A revelatory docu that exmaines and contextualizes the abuses taking place in Abu Ghraib

Aug 4, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Shines a light on dark deeds done to prisoners in Iraq and Cuba by their American captors.

Sep 28, 2008 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Kennedy's film paints a comprehensive picture of incompetence and negligence.

Jun 25, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ghosts of Abu Ghraib


This is a stellar documentary about the infamous Abu Ghraib Prisoner abuse scandal. With interviews done with the people who where there, witnessed the events and participating in the extreme interrogation techniques used by the military in Iraq, this is a chilling portrait into the ordeal. Brilliantly directed, this documentary goes deep into bringing these interrogation techniques to light. We get to see soldiers tell their story at how they were once trying to serve their country to being told that these interrogation techniques which were no more than humiliating the prisoners to get information. In doing that they got dishonorably discharged from the military, created one of the most infamous Scandals involving the U.S military and made the situation in Iraq much more fragile. I have no sympathy for the soldiers who committed the acts, and disgraced the military. The film is definitely worth seeing this is a compelling story behind what happened at the prison. The film is shocking but is also a must see. I really liked the film, thought it was insightful, but also very hard to watch due to the nature of the scandal. Rory Kennedy does a great job here, and I thought it was a very well made documentary. The film does ask important questions, and it shows how some politicians are crooked in their means of treating prisoners of war.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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