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This article situates In the Name of the Father (1993) and Breakfast on Pluto (2005) within the tradition of cinematic imperial critique established by Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 film The Battle of Algiers. By confronting the viewer with images of innocents in pain, the films demand a reconsideration of the victimization of innocents as an admissible “cost” of ensuring national security. Despite the different historical foci of the films, the subtext of each film centers on the perennial question: what are the political and psychological preconditions for torture? All three directors exploit the medium of film to examine the intimate relationship between imperial ideology and the implementation of torture.