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Road to Guantanamo

Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross

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Road to Guantanamo
Directed by: Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross
(FilmFour)
In the days following 9/11, four British men chose a very bad time to travel from Pakistan to Afghanistan. After the fall of the Taliban, three were held and shipped off to the infamous American military base in Cuba. They were imprisoned for over two years and never charged, their civil and human rights continually and regularly violated. The story, orchestrated by maverick British director Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, Tristram Shandy), is told in reenactment, with actors playing the parts of the actual men whose faces we see periodically as they narrate their tale. As Touching the Void proved, this sort of docudrama can be done well, but it is patently manipulative. All we have to go on is what they said happened: It’s a little hard to believe they took a bus into a war zone just for kicks. Yet even if only half of what they say is true, the catalogue of indignities prisoners at Guantanamo have endured has been independently verified. This is the kind of movie that would really open people’s eyes if it were broadcast on American television, but that will never happen. At least it’s available on DVD, and will help remind people, especially the American public, of the international laws being trampled upon, as well as of the remaining detainees who still await due process.
Carsten Knox

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