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“Beneath The Blindfold,” (2012, 80 min.), a new human rights documentary in which four survivors reveal the truth about torture, will premiere at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago at 8:15 p.m. on Jan. 13. It will be shown again at 8 p.m. on Jan. 19. The film’s Illinois-based co-directors Ines Sommer and Kathy Berger will attend both showings for post-screening discussion.
In the film the stories of the torture survivors, who all now live in the U.S., reveal a singular truth: this should not happen to anyone.
A compassionate look at lives being rebuilt day-by-day, “Beneath the Blindfold” shows how being tortured shattered the former identities of these survivors:
a young Liberian nursing student, a Colombian actor, a Guatemalan physician, and a U.S. Navy veteran.
The film also exposes the shameful history of the United States’ role in institutionalizing torture techniques worldwide and challenges media messaging that portrays torture as an effective tool for information gathering.
Inspired to make “Beneath the Blindfold” after realizing how rarely the voices of torture survivors were heard in debates about the issue, co-directors Ms. Berger and Ms. Sommer say they hope to use the film to encourage “discussion about the human consequences and moral implications of torture. “Many of the survivors who we met during the making of this film did not dare to be on camera – they feared dire consequences for their families and friends back home and they were also wary of ‘coming out’ to their American co-workers and neighbors. We want to honor the bravery of all torture survivors with this film. Their stories are hard to hear, but rather than leaving people despairing we think seeing their resilience and commitment to speak out will inspire people to action and end this inhumane practice,” they added.