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ItsCalledSoccer
ItsCalledSoccer
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
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May 7th, 2011 at 8:11:36 PM permalink
Just saw a thought-provoking movie called Unthinkable with Samuel L. Jackson and Carrie-Ann Moss. Should be available on Netflix or wherever movies are rented.

In a nutshell, it's the most nightmarish of domestic terrorism scenarios. An American Jihadist has hidden nuclear bombs in cities around the nation, and was captured four days before the bombs are set to explode. It pursues a few different topics and has some twists and turns, but in the end, the watershed decision becomes clear: they must either torture his children or allow (yes, allow) the bombs to go off.

The 2010 movie is a little dated in that now there's public knowledge of the role and efficacy of "enhanced interrogation" in the killing of bin Laden ... something we only speculated at until now. But, without spoiling the movie, the Jihadist withstands all of the known "enhanced interrogation" techniques, as well as some Hollywood-y "artistic interpretation." The movie also portrays some torture as effective, although you'll have to see it to see which methods were effective.

But the choice is dichotomous. You, like the people in the movie, MUST choose one or the other. There's no time left, all other law enforcement efforts to find the bombs have failed. There is no wiggle room, no "hand of God" last-minute rescue, no alternative. The bombs are beyond-all-doubt real, they will otherwise explode, and they are in major, major American cities.

Either you torture the Jihadist's children in his viewing, or up to 20 million Americans die.

FWIW, I know the possibility exists for side-topics to emerge, such as whether or not torture is effective. Even after the bin Laden killing, the sides are still spinning to conform to their pre-held views. But this question is not meant to debate the efficacy or morality of "enhanced interrogation." It is meant to present you with a stark choice: torture the Jihadist's children or 20 million Americans die.

What do you choose?

SPOILER ALERT:
The movie had characters who took either side. I found it repulsive when one character said "torture his children." I found it just as repulsive when another character said, "let the bombs explode." I won't tell you what the movie did to the children, but I will tell you that they did not find the bombs. The movie, somewhat cowardly IMHO, did not deal with the explosions and aftermath, but if you've ever seen a special about Hiroshima and/or Nagasaki, then you were looking at the effect and aftermath of a bomb just a fraction of the size of the ones in the movie.
DeMango
DeMango
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May 7th, 2011 at 9:06:10 PM permalink
Hiroshima also saved a million lives so it is said. In this case you have to save the masses.

But that's Hollywood. This many bombs with one terrorist? Quite unlikely.
When a rock is thrown into a pack of dogs, the one that yells the loudest is the one who got hit.
boymimbo
boymimbo
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May 7th, 2011 at 9:21:00 PM permalink
Wasn't it a famous Vulcan who said, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one"? Torture the children. As sons and daughters of the jihadists, they were probably already indoctrinated to become suicide bombers anyway, and if they're holding the information and they're not willing to tell you nicely, then torture them... they know the difference between right and wrong.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
Croupier
Croupier
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May 7th, 2011 at 9:26:15 PM permalink
I agree with the Spock logic. Save the millions. If it truely was an either or choice it would be a simple one for me.
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rxwine
rxwine
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May 7th, 2011 at 10:17:04 PM permalink
Remember Sophie's Choice? Decide on the spot which of her two children the evil Nazi commandant would kill, or let them both die.

If they wanted to make it real difficult, the characters should have had to consider whether to torture their own children. (Perhaps to appease a terrorist on a video feed phone in a ticking bomb scenario)
Quasimodo? Does that name ring a bell?
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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May 8th, 2011 at 4:58:20 AM permalink
Quote: DeMango

Hiroshima also saved a million lives so it is said. In this case you have to save the masses.

But that's Hollywood. This many bombs with one terrorist? Quite unlikely.



Fat Man and Little Boy did save at least a million lives, most of them Japanese.

I'm suprised that Hollywood being Hoillywood they didn't throw it back on the Bible saying the sins of the father will be paid by the child.

Tourture the children, the millions of innocents outweigh the few innocent children.

And tell Hollywood to quit making movies where islamic terriorists are made to look like the victims. John Wayne just killed them and won the war.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
Wizard
Administrator
Wizard
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May 8th, 2011 at 5:03:59 AM permalink
Quote: rxwine

Remember Sophie's Choice? Decide on the spot which of her two children the evil Nazi commandant would kill, or let them both die.



Yes. That scene is hard to get out of your head. In her shoes I would have flipped a coin.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
thecesspit
thecesspit
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May 8th, 2011 at 6:38:04 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

Fat Man and Little Boy did save at least a million lives, most of them Japanese.



Not least as the alternative method of forcing surrender without invasion, fire bombing, had already claimed about as many lives a single the A-bomb. If not more. The home slands invasion would have been bloody... Given the losses on Okinawa.
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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May 8th, 2011 at 7:52:16 AM permalink
Quote: thecesspit

Not least as the alternative method of forcing surrender without invasion, fire bombing, had already claimed about as many lives a single the A-bomb. If not more. The home slands invasion would have been bloody... Given the losses on Okinawa.



Starvation would have been setting in also. Fall and winter were coming up. One book I read said the average waistline of a Japanese male was about 20-22 inches right after the war. It would have been ugly.

Does anyone else agree dropping the two nuclear bombs saved a nuclear war?
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
pacomartin
pacomartin
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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May 8th, 2011 at 9:35:42 AM permalink
Quote: Unthinkable (Sony) Review


– I’ll resist the temptation to make a bad joke at the expense of the title and rename this pretentious polemic of a thriller “Unwatchable,” simply because Sam Jackson is invariably watchable when he does his thing. Even if, as in this film, his thing is the systematic, relentless and inhuman torture of a terrorist suspect.

... it’s a clumsy polemic that bounces between the boundaries of stage-play debate and torture porn spectacle as everyone argues over ethics, morality and just what we are willing to sacrifice to safeguard against a nuclear terrorist strike.

Michael Sheen is the American Muslim who endures the torture, as if to prove a point. Just like the film, which puts everyone to the test and finds that everyone is a hypocrite when survival is at stake: the higher the pay grade, the more hypocritical they are.

Except, of course, the man who actually does the dirty work, who is honest, up-front consistent from start to finish.

...

There’s a reason the film did not get a theatrical release.
..

Full Review



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