What happens when private institutions and governments abuse their power and break the public trust? Pivot's new investigative documentary series, "Truth and Power", executive produced by award-winning filmmaker Brian Knappenberger (The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz) and narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Maggie Gyllenhaal, explores that question while separating fact from misinformation.
The 10-part series highlights the stories of ordinary people going to extraordinary lengths to expose large-scale abuses of power: from corporations receiving lucrative government contracts for dangerous private prisons to governments using data-gathering technology to scoop up huge amounts of information about their citizens. Using probing interviews, original footage, and newly unearthed documents, the series unpacks the timely issues of security, surveillance, and profiteering in the digital age.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Truth and Power - Truth and reconciliation commission - Netflix
A truth commission or truth and reconciliation commission is a commission tasked with discovering and revealing past wrongdoing by a government (or, depending on the circumstances, non-state actors also), in the hope of resolving conflict left over from the past. Truth commissions are, under various names, occasionally set up by states emerging from periods of internal unrest, civil war, or dictatorship. In both their truth-seeking and reconciling functions, truth commissions have political implications: they “constantly make choices when they define such basic objectives as truth, reconciliation, justice, memory, reparation, and recognition, and decide how these objectives should be met and whose needs should be served.” According to one widely cited definition: “A truth commission (1) is focused on the past, rather than ongoing, events; (2) investigates a pattern of events that took place over a period of time; (3) engages directly and broadly with the affected population, gathering information on their experiences; (4) is a temporary body, with the aim of concluding with a final report; and (5) is officially authorized or empowered by the state under review.”
Truth and Power - Reconciliation function - Netflix
Within the scope of transitional justice, truth commissions tend to lean towards restorative rather than retributive justice models. This means they often favour efforts to reconcile divided societies in the wake of conflict, or to reconcile societies with their own troubled pasts, over attempts to hold those accused of human rights violations accountable. Less commonly, truth commissions advocate forms of reparative justice, efforts to repair past damage and help victims of conflict or human rights violations to heal. This can take the form of reparations to victims, whether financial or otherwise; official apologies; commemorations or monuments to past human rights violations, or other forms. Reparations have been central, for instance, in Morocco's Equity and Reconciliation Commission. Reconciliation forms a crucial aspect of most commissions. In some cases, peace agreements or the terms of transfers of power prevent court prosecutions and allow impunity for former rulers accused of human rights violations or even crimes against humanity, and truth commissions appear as the major alternative. In other cases, governments see the opportunity to unite divided societies and offer truth and reconciliation commissions as the way to reach that goal. Truth commissions formed part of peace settlements in El Salvador, Congo, Kenya, and others. Commissions often hold public hearings in which victims/survivors can share their stories and sometimes confront their former abusers. These processes sometimes include the hope of forgiveness for past crimes and the hope that society can thereby be healed and made whole again. The public reconciliation process is sometimes praised for offering a path to reconciliation, and sometimes criticised for promoting impunity and further traumatising victims. On some occasions, truth commissions have been criticized for narrow mandates or lack of implementation after their reports. Examples include Chad's Commission of Inquiry into Crimes and Misappropriations committed by former president Hissene Habre and the Philippines Truth Commission which has been criticized as selective justice. A short-lived Commission of Truth and Reconciliation in Yugoslavia never reported as the country that created it ceased to exist. In others, such as Rwanda, it has been impossible to carry out commission recommendations due to a return to conflict.
Truth and Power - References - Netflix