Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
In this documentary and docudrama combined, the subject of converting young men into police who are trained to torture -- and do so -- is a sobering look at the power of institutions to tap into political, racial, or ethnic biases in order to "compel" a man to torture. As in most histories of institutionalized torture from the German holocaust to the Cambodian killing fields, the killers and maimers were primarily men (and young men at that -- in Cambodia the torturers at Tuol Sleng ranged in age between 13 and 19). This time, it is the policies of the Greek junta (1967-1974) that are under scrutiny. Police recruits were illiterate, rabidly anti-communist, young, and male. One of them, Michailis Petrou, testified as a chief prosecution witness against his fellow policemen in exchange for a reduced sentence (six years total). His chilling interview detailed how the recruits were themselves brutalized during their training, so as to better implement similar (and obviously, much worse) methods of torture on their prisoners. It is implied that without the brutalization of the police recruits, their robotic compliance may not have been forthcoming.