• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

German film on music in torture wins Emmy

The Local · 20 Nov 2012, 12:41

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.

Story continues below…

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
Lion shot dead at Leipzig Zoo after breaking out of cage
Motshegetsi (l) und Majo. Photo: DPA

A young male lion was shot dead at Leipzig Zoo on Thursday afternoon after he broke out of his enclosure.

EU takes Germany to court for 'discriminatory' foreigner toll
A sign that reads "toll" along the Autobahn by Rostock. Photo: DPA.

The European Commission on Thursday said it is taking Germany to the EU Court of Justice because of the country's plan to impose a road toll that would mainly charge foreign drivers.

After 3-year trial, suspected neo-Nazi terrorist speaks out
Beate Zschäpe. Photo: DPA

Beate Zschäpe, the only living member of an underground neo-Nazi cell accused of murdering ten people, has spoken to the court in Munich after three years of silence.

Green party wants only e-cars on Autobahn by 2030
Photo: DPA.

The environmentalist Green party has an ambitious plan for German cars to be petrol- and diesel-free within the next 15 years.

Commerzbank to make one in five staff redundant by 2020
Photo: DPA

Germany's second largest lender Commerzbank said on Thursday it plans to cut 9,600 jobs by 2020 and withhold dividends to pay for a €1.1 billion restructuring.

Germany's favourite smoker wins battle against eviction
Photo: DPA

How a pensioner with a serious smoking habit won a years-long fight for his right to keep his home - and his favourite pastime.

Thousands evacuated after WWII bomb found in Cologne
File photo of a Second World War bomb: DPA

Several thousands people were being evacuated from a district of Cologne just north of the old town on Thursday morning, after a Second World War bomb was found in a parking lot.

Kidnapped German journalist and her baby freed in Syria
File photo of a Syrian soldier: SANA/DPA.

A German woman who was kidnapped in Syria last year while she was pregnant has been freed along with her baby, the German Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

Air Berlin to cut 1,200 jobs and halve airline fleet
Photo: DPA.

Struggling Air Berlin, Germany's second-largest airline, announced on Wednesday a major restructuring plan that shrinks its fleet and cuts 1,200 jobs.

Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Photo: Thomas Wolf/Wikimedia Commons.

From stunning chalk-white cliffs to fairy tale castles, Germany has some breathtaking sights to see, perfect for social media.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,622
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd