From Jim Manzardo, Pax Christi St. Gertrude (Chicago)
Please join us for the World Premiere of BENEATH THE BLINDFOLD, a human rights documentary by Ines Sommer and Kathy Berger, at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Friday, January 13, 8:15pm and Thursday, January 19, 8pm.
Please join us for a 6:30 pm reception preceding the Friday, Jan.13 screening. Directors Kathy Berger and Ines Sommer will be present for a Q&A at both screenings, along with Matilde de la Sierra, Donald Vance and Mario Venegas, who are all featured in the film.
ABOUT THE FILM: Although many television viewers have seen fictionalized torture on television programs like “24”, most are unaware that there are torture survivors right in our midst: they are among the refugees and political asylees who have found safe harbor in the U.S. They are now struggling to make new lives for themselves, while healing their deep physical and psychological wounds. Estimates place the number of torture survivors living in the U.S. at 500,000.
Despite the media coverage of abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, the voices of torture survivors have rarely been fully heard in the ensuing public discussion about the use of torture. Without their stories, torture remains abstract, a practice that happens to people we neither know nor care about. They become statistics, their human suffering easily ignored.
Since torture survivors know first-hand the destructive and long-lasting impact that torture has had on them personally, on their families and communities, filmmakers Ines Sommer and Kathy Berger set out to counter this ‘blind spot’ – the resulting documentary Beneath the Blindfold gives voice to torture survivors’ stories, insights and struggles.
Our goal is to use Beneath the Blindfold as a starting point to engage the public in an informed discussion about the human consequences and moral implications of torture.