Errol Morris - Exclusive interview

This article is from 2008

Lynndie England in Errol Morris' documentary Standard Operating Procedure

Lynndie England in Errol Morris' documentary Standard Operating Procedure

Errol Morris interviewed by Paul Dale

On Sunday 22 June this year I went head to head with arguably the best documentarian and interviewer of his generation - Errol Morris.

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Morris was in town to promote his soon to be released film Standard Operating Procedure Standard Operating Procedure as part of the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival. Morris, to my mind at least, is a unique talent. He has proved over the years that he is a master of what you can really only call 'truth assimilation'. With the help of his famed interview booth interrotron techniques, Morris has solved real life miscarriages of justices and even forced former secretary of state Robert McNamara to reconsider some of his actions. His brilliant but depressing new documentary tries to untangle the truth of the tragic events that went on at Abu Ghraib by talking to many of the military personnel involved. It's an important work and Morris knows it.

I found this to be a really difficult interview, Morris' Julliard honed intellect is undeniable but it is his total awareness of the many interview tricks I tried to deploy during my time with him (vainly used to try and get a controversial or original quotation out of him) that I found most unsettling. Morris was polite, intense, monosyllabic and just a little scary as only that 0.1% of wealthy highly educated Americans can be. But at least I got him to fess up about his love of the cello. I hope you enjoy this unedited interview.

All quotes from this interview are protected by copyright we will sue anyone who tries to use them…