Sundance Film Festival: RECKONING WITH TORTURE

The Sundance Film Festival is defined not only by the movies and parties and deals that so often grab headlines, but also by its social conscience. The festival provides an opportunity for the independent-film community to come together, to harness its power and creativity, to make a difference in the world, often in profound ways.

In that spirit, filmmaker Doug Liman (THE BOURNE IDENTITY, MR. AND MRS. SMITH, FAIR GAME) has teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union and PEN American Center, as well as the Sundance Film Festival, to present a special performance of RECKONING WITH TORTURE: MEMOS AND TESTIMONIES FROM THE ‘WAR ON TERROR.’

The event, which will be held in Park City today at 12:00 p.m. MST at the Egyptian Theater, will include readings, screenings and art aiming to raise awareness of the Bush administration’s torture program and to urge the Obama administration to hold accountable the government officials who authorized torture.

Acclaimed writers and artists including Paul Auster, Annie Proulx, Marilynne Robinson, Naomi Wolf, Sandra Cisneros and Alex Gibney as well as former CIA and military officials will read from prisoner reports, government memos and other documents that reveal the scope and human cost of the U.S. torture program. Between the readings, previously unseen footage of former Guantánamo detainees discussing the abuse they endured will be shown. An original work created by renowned artist Jenny Holzer especially for the RECKONING project will be on display.

“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,” Liman said in a statement. “We’re at a pivotal moment in history, and my hope is that America will choose a path toward restoring this nation as a defender of human rights. If everyone gets involved in calling for accountability for torture, that is what will happen.”

Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.