Tuesday, December 19, 2006


ROAD TO GUANTANAMO is a strange and unsettling film about three British students who were detained in Afghanistan and eventually sent to the American prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The first half-hour of the film is extremely confusing. They do not explain the conceit of the film directly to the audience, which adds to the confusion. The film is shot in sections. There are interviews with the actual detainees who speak directly to camera. The rest of the footage is dramatic recreations, shot on DV in a documentary style, occasionally intercut with real news footage, and sometimes with fake news-style voiceover. Especially since they never explain this, it is extremely confusing as you try to figure out what is going on. In addition, there are flashbacks, time ellipses, and the real people intercut with actors who don't look like them, so you can't tell who is whom.

However, the message of the film is a moving one. The events that occurred are frightening and inexcusable. It is simply impossible to watch this film without feeling outrage. It's worth watching just to see a small taste of the horrors that our own government is committing.

Strangely, the detainee interviews do not show this outrage. I'm not sure whether they have suppressed it, are in denial, or if they are past that stage. It's a very bizarre film, and I am very suspect of the faux-documentary approach, but it is moving.
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