The Effects of Torture

This here is a short film based of Kafka’s “In The Penal Colony” that visualizes the effect that such harsh torture would have on the Condemned persons in the short story. The short film even directly quotes the story: “For the first six hours the condemned man goes on living almost as before.” (Kafka 8)  The short film adds: “Except for the pain.” (The Condemned) Here we see how inhumane the torture that the machine brings really is. The escaped prisoner in the short film has many underlying psychological issues due to the torture that was experienced. She is constantly seeing the Officer in the woods with her and has many hallucinations of the torture that she experienced. Basically, she is suffering from a severe case of post traumatic stress syndrome.

We don’t see the effects that the torture has on the condemned man in the story, however, we see how being blind to what their punishment is effects the condemned:  “One could see how with a confused gaze he was also looking for what the two gentlemen had just observed, but he didn’t succeed because he lacked explanation. He leaned forward this way and that. He kept running his eyes over the glass again and again” (Kafka 7) Being chained up and having no idea what is going on is already having a traumatizing effect on the condemned man. This short film based off of the story shows that torture is in fact very inhumane for more than one reason. It is not just the physical pain that torture has on a person that makes it so terrible, but it is also the psychological effects that it has on individuals that makes it such an atrocious act.


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