The daring actions and personal sacrifices of a Vietnam war hero turned priest, who struggles to find and reveal the truth about a CIA/Pentagon secret torture training school.

"One of the outstanding documentaries of 1997."

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
Synopsis: 

The struggle to find and reveal the truth about a secret torture training center at the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA).

 

In the documentary Father Roy Bourgeois--a Vietnam war hero--meets three men, each from a different Latin American country, who link SOA to torture training. Two were taught torture techniques at SOA. The third, a victim of that training, found an SOA teaching manual on torture. The producer was warned that he will be killed if he reveals the name of one of the trainees or where he was interviewed.

 

In 1996 the White House Intelligence Oversight Board confirmed the explosive charges revealed in this documentary and the Secretary of Defense at the time declared torture training would never happen again. In 2016 Donald Trump called for the return of waterboarding torture as a part of American military intelligence  practices.

 

Under its new name, Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, SOA continues. So does the growing campaign by tens of thousands of college students and others to close it down.

 

The Motion Picture Academy declared Father Roy: Inside the School of Assassins was one of the outstanding documentaries of the year it was released. A fictional adaptation of this factually dramatic documentary is in development. .

Book the filmmaker with this or other of his films by emailing rrprod@aol.com. Robert Richter has appeared with his work at over 50 universities and colleges.

Reviews

"Powerful...recommended for all video collections."

Stephen L. Hupp, Urbana University Library Journal

"A straight ahead, thoughtful exposé... sways you with the facts."

San Francisco Examiner

"Persuasive."

Boston Globe

"Chilling."

Dallas Morning News

"Inspiring."

Grand Rapids Press

"An inspiring tool for education and action."

Report on Guatemala
Director's Commentary: 

I first met the amazing and courageous Father Roy Bourgeois when he came to my office nd asked me to produce a short documentary that would reach ordinary people and alert them to what they could do about their concerns over the nuclear arms race.  I produced Gpds of Metal that covered that subject--ranging from passing town meeting resoultions, to refusing to pay a share of your income tax, to quitting a defense job, to civil disobedience.  It was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary.  A few years later Roy asked to me produce a film about the U.S.Army School of the Americas (SOA). That documentary, . , won my third Oscar nomination.  Then I told Roy it was time for people to learn about him and his search for the truth about SOA.  He reluctantly  and ultimately agreed--and an incredible, at times dangerous adventure began.