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BBFC RatingEminent Monsters: A Manual for Modern Torture

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Director(s)Stephen Bennett
Running Time1HR 35MINS
SeasonMain Programme
Audio Accessible

In the 1950s the CIA and Canada covertly funded Scottish born psychiatrist Dr. Ewen Cameron to embark on the darkest program of psychological experimentation in modern history.

Subjecting his “patients” to sensory deprivation, forced comas, LSD injections and extreme physical and mental torture, Cameron’s techniques have since been used in 27 countries around the world. With testimony from senior American psychologists, military personnel and key whistle blowers, director Stephen Bennett shines fresh light upon claims of collusion between doctors and the state and lays bare the legacy of pain left behind by Cameron. 

From the establishment of a human torture laboratory in Montreal and the humiliation and terror of Guantanamo, to the “Hooded Men” of Belfast seeking justice and reparation at the European Court of Human Rights, Eminent Monsters is an urgent call to the international community to right the wrongs of the past and protect us from a dangerous future. 

In the summer of 2019 the film was taken to the UN in Geneva where an internationally esteemed panel of experts discussed how the film contributes to the wider discussion around “The Faultlines Between Psychological Torture and Coercive Interrogation”. The event catapulted the film to the forefront of the debate around the moral responsibilities of the international community to such an extent that the UN Special Rapporteur for Torture, Prof Nils Melzer, has cited the film as a motivational factor in writing a report on psychological torture that he will submit to the UN Human Rights Council in 2020 to coincide with the film’s cinema release and UK TV broadcast. 

Eminent Monsters contains a sequence of flashing lights which might affect customers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy.

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