Rendition

This is a movie about sending a man, suspected to be a terrorist, to another country so that he can be tortured. The practice of extraordinary rendition actually dates from the war on drugs. It’s a good movie, worth watching.

Rendition is about an Egyptian American who is sent to a North African country as he is suspected of having some connection with a terrorist. There of course he is tortured. This process of handing out suspects to other countries to be tortured is known as extraordinary rendition.

The impressive parts of the movie are what happens in North Africa. The torture scenes are not easy to watch but affect you a lot. Also, the subplot about the daughter of the local law enforcement guy overseeing the torture is also very interesting.

On the other hand, the acting of Meryl Streep, who is a great actress, and Reese Witherspoon did not impress me much.

Overall, I rate the movie 8/10.

And finally a question: Considering that the United States has (indirectly) tortured innocent people via extraordinary rendition (for example, Maher Arar), do you worry something like this could happen to you or your loved ones? Also, please note that extraordinary rendition did not start with the war on terror. Instead, it dates from the war on drugs as Jonathan Edelstein shows in a great blog post.

Author: Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer

8 thoughts on “Rendition”

  1. War without end threatens the rights and freedoms of prosecutors and peripheral parties. When an armed struggle lasts long enough, the continuous clash becomes an accepted monotony despite its cacophony. Societies fixated on victory forget the all consuming nature of violent struggle and, by degrees, shed peacetime concerns until victory is the only matter of consequence. Limited, temporary violations of rights and freedoms seen as “necessary” for a nation’s preservation, a concept increasingly tied to victory as defined by opinion leaders, become permanent. Further violations follow, and free, democratic societies slip centimeter by centimeter down the dark slope toward closed, authoritarian regimes. Authoritarian societies grow increasingly paranoid and sink further into terror and repression. The standards of peripheral parties also tend to fall like a swimmer caught in a whirlpool as combatants spiral into an abyss of their own creation. In situations such as these, all members of a society should be concerned about their rights and freedoms.

    I believe the “war on terror” qualifies as one such protracted, fixating struggle. Passage of parts of the USA PATRIOT Act, construction of the Guantanamo Prison and some forms of rendition serve as examples of slips down the dark slope. So, yes; I am concerned.

  2. Captain Arrrgh: Quite right.

    Desi Italiana: I am not sure of the exact number but there were several during the Clinton era. And in fact there were some in the 1970s too.

  3. Zack,

    Since 1995, there have been 67 extraordinary rendition cases [http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2008/03/disappearing-act.html] and in the Clinton era, there were 14 documented extraordinary renditions [http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2008/03/exclusive-i-was-kidnapped-by-the-cia.html]

  4. Taxi To the Dark Side

    It’s a documentary about Dilawar, an Afghan taxi driver, who was tortured and murdered as well as the torture policies of the Bush administration. I provide a lot of links to information about torture.

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