The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Rachel Myers, ACLU, (212) 549-2689 or 2666;
Larry Siems, PEN American Center, (212) 334-1660 ext 111;

ACLU, PEN American Center And Film Society Of Lincoln Center Present "Reckoning With Torture: Memos And Testimonies From The 'War On Terror'"

Doug Liman Will Direct The Performance On Tuesday, May 24 At Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater


The American Civil Liberties Union, PEN American Center and the Film Society of Lincoln Center will present a special performance of "Reckoning With Torture: Memos and Testimonies From the 'War on Terror'" on Tuesday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m. EDT at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater. Acclaimed director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Fair Game) will direct this powerful performance featuring readings from formerly secret government documents, videos and original art that shine a light on the scope and human cost of the post-9/11 torture program. The event, which follows a similar event presented at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival by Liman, the ACLU and PEN, is being filmed as part of a national documentary film project aimed at promoting accountability for torture.

"It's a privilege to work with the ACLU and PEN American Center on this important project," said Liman. "As the documents we are presenting make clear, there is no longer any doubt that the United States repeatedly and systematically violated longstanding prohibitions on torture. It is also clear from the record, as we hear throughout this program, that many courageous men and women stood up against torture and abuse. We're at a pivotal moment in history, and my hope is that America will honor these men and women and choose a path toward restoring this nation as a defender of human rights."

Writers Russell Banks, Dahlia Lithwick, Peter Godwin, Rula Jebreal, Beth Gutcheon, Kati Marton and John Buffalo Mailer; actors Dianne Wiest and Lili Taylor; former Guantanamo prosecutor Col. Morris Davis and former CIA interrogator Jack Rice will read from the detailed reports of numerous prisoners, government memos authorizing abusive techniques and other documents detailing the scope and disastrous human cost of the U.S. torture program. Original videos of former Guantanamo detainees discussing the abuse they endured will be screened between readings. The artist Jenny Holzer, whose work was the subject of a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2009, has created original artwork for the "Reckoning" project. Many of the readings come from government documents obtained by the ACLU in a lawsuit that the New York Times recently described as "among the most successful in the history of public disclosure."

The ACLU and PEN have been staging "Reckoning With Torture" events around the country for the past two years. Doug Liman joined the project in late 2010 and staged and filmed "Reckoning With Torture" before a live audience at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011. The Sundance event marked the start of production of a feature-length documentary, which will also be directed by Liman.

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The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

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