GHOSTS OF ABU GHRAIB (Rory Kennedy, U.S.) 78 minutes. Saturday (April 21), 9:45 pm; Tuesday (April 24), 4:30 pm, Isabel Bader. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Righteous and bracing, Ghosts Of Abu Ghraib chronicles the descent of American soldiers into everyday brutalism at the nudging of their military superiors. Director Rory Kennedy - youngest daughter of Robert F. Kennedy - interviews soldiers who stripped Iraqi prisoners naked, abused them nightly and posed at the scene for pictures. Naturally, they all come off as otherwise decent people.
Given the subject and Kennedy's Democrat lineage, this could be dismissed as anti-Bush fodder, but Kennedy frames her film with a famous social experiment showing how easily almost anybody can take to torture. The style is televisual and the music unneccessarily dramatic, but the object lesson is sober and gripping.