For the final in my class called "Punishment, Politics, and Culture," I've decided to do a paper on how torture appears in U.S. popular culture and informs our approaches to punishment. In other words, I want to look at a few films and see how they play into American cultural understandings of torture (i.e. our intuition of how violent or painful an act must be before it becomes torture, who uses torture and to what ends, how and when torture is or should be used, if it can get reliable information, etc.)
I'm not really interested in so-called "torture-porn" films, like Hostel
; torture-as-exploitation isn't really the end goal here. I'm more interested in films that try to depict torture "realistically"â€”the sorts of situations in which one might find torture used in the "real world."
Two limiting factors:
1) I'm ONLY looking at film. TV shows like 24
would be interesting, but the research paper is too short to be crossing formats.
2) I want to look at movies made in the last decade, preferably during the Bush presidency. So films like Reservoir Dogs
So far all I can think of is Casino Royale
. Are there any other (recent) pop-culture movies where torture scenes appear? I'm most interested in scenes where torture is used an an interrogation device (even if it's something as simple as, say, a cop breaking a dude's fingers to pry information out of him).