Why Abu Ghraib?
I had planned on making a film exploring the question of how ordinary people commit extraordinary acts of evil, and Abu Ghraib kept coming up. It was really with the intention of doing a psychological profile of the MPs —were these people psychopaths? Or was it the pressure of working under these conditions?
So, what did you find?
They’re perfectly normal in many ways. Javal Davis—there’s a sweetness to his eyes, an honesty to him. They did horrible things, but it was pretty obvious that these guys were told to do 95 percent of what they did.
Did you deliberately avoid Michael Moore–style filmmaking?
I really tried not to sensationalize it or be cryptic or cute. I didn’t want it to be about me.