• Germany's news in English
 

German film on music in torture wins Emmy

Published: 20 Nov 2012 12:41 GMT+01:00

"Songs of War: Music as a Weapon" made in 2010, beat films from Japan, Brazil and Britain to win in the category of arts programming.

The film follows composer Christopher Cerf, whose work includes more than 200 songs for the children's show "Sesame Street".

He said he was surprised and horrified when he realised that his music had been used to torture prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.

"I was furious, on one level, and, I have to say, bemused on another," Cerf told Japan Today online news site in June. "It just seemed insane. And, of course, it hurt my feelings a little bit, too, that my songs were bad enough that anyone thought they’d be useful in this way."

Cerf and German filmmaker Tristan Chytroschek decided to find out how the music was used in torture and interrogation, and spoke with, among others, psychologists, prisoners tortured with Cerf's music, and a US soldier who had been a guard at Guantanamo Bay.

Click here to see the trailer

The International Emmys are awarded by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which has representatives from 50 different countries.

The last time a German show was honoured was in 2009, when the three-part docudrama "The Wolves" won, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. That film explored the issues surrounding the Berlin blockade, the division of Germany, and the country's reunification.

The Local/mbw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:52 November 20, 2012 by yllusion
Just turn on the radio and you'll have torture right there with so much commercial, repetitive 3-4 chord based music styles, untalented singers, boring electronic beats, annoying choruses and superficial lyrics...
16:25 November 20, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Solution to Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib music torture: GEMA.

Solution to GEMA: Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib
00:47 November 21, 2012 by marimay
The radio truly is torture.
04:44 November 21, 2012 by taiwanluthiers
GEMA should send a letter of cease and desist to Guantanamo Bay citing copyright violations for unauthorized use of music in their operation and demand royalty payments.
18:30 November 23, 2012 by almorr
I hate rap music, that would be torture to me, I mean if rap music was played to me on a blaring loud radio or loudspeaker for hours on end, that is torture, and that is what probably happens in such cases at Guantanamo Bay.
Today's headlines
'Blackfacing' is Anglicism of the Year
They may be collecting for charity, but this is not really OK. Photo: DPA

'Blackfacing' is Anglicism of the Year

"Blackfacing", used by Germans to describe white people painting their skin dark to mimic black people, has been named Anglicism of the Year by a jury of linguists. READ  

Cocaine-cop trial shakes Bavarian Alps
File photo: DPA

Cocaine-cop trial shakes Bavarian Alps

For 20 years no-one noticed that the head of the drug squad in Kempten, Bavaria, was on a personal rampage of narcotics- and domestic abuse - until his wife shopped him for the €250,000 brick of cocaine he had stashed. But the local population isn't buying the story. READ  

Merkel wishes Tsipras 'strength and success'
Photo: DPA

Merkel wishes Tsipras 'strength and success'

Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Greece's new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday and wished him "much strength and success" after his anti-austerity party's election victory. READ  

Refugees suffer over 200 attacks in 2014
Swastika graffiti at a refugee home in Bavaria with text reading "No asylum seekers". Photo: DPA

Refugees suffer over 200 attacks in 2014

Refugee NGOs' first annual report on violence against asylum seekers found that there were over 200 attacks on people and accommodation in 2014. READ  

'No German identity without Auschwitz'
President Gauck addressing the Bundestag on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

'No German identity without Auschwitz'

President Joachim Gauck on Tuesday warned Germans against drawing a line under the Holocaust as the Bundestag (parliament) opened a day of commemorations on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. READ  

Handball! Neuer blows whistle on wax double
Manuel Neuer at the inauguration of his double in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Handball! Neuer blows whistle on wax double

Madame Tussauds' hottest new effigy was unveiled to the public in Berlin on Tuesday, costing a euro for each of the 150,000 hairs on keeper Manuel Neuer's head. Pity about the handball goal frame though… READ  

Railway union threatens strike over €2
EVG members outside a station during a 2013 strike. Photo: DPA

Railway union threatens strike over €2

As railway operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) continues negotiations with train drivers' union GDL, its other major union EVG has threatened a strike over pay differences between employees. READ  

Dresden tolerance concert draws 22,000
Photo: DPA

Dresden tolerance concert draws 22,000

As Pegida supporters and opponents clashed in Hanover, musicians threw a free concert in central Dresden on Monday evening to show another side to the city famous for spawning the anti-Islam movement. READ  

Germany remembers horror of Auschwitz
"Work will set you free," the gate at Auschwitz-Birkenau tells inmates. Photo: DPA

Germany remembers horror of Auschwitz

Chancellor Angela Merkel joined survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Berlin on Monday to open a series of events dedicated to the end of the Holocaust camp regime 70 years ago. READ  

JobTalk Germany: Entrepreneur series
'Work I love and a rewarding family life'
Working mum photo: Shutterstock

'Work I love and a rewarding family life'

Melanie Fieseler is a British business/career consultant and coach, and founder of Berlin-based WorkSmart. She is on a mission to help ambitious mums like herself successfully combine motherhood with building a fulfilling and rewarding career or business. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,806
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd