Having not received formal charges and the possibility of a defense in court, Mohammed Ould Slahi spent more than 6 years in Guantanamo prison. Only after that was he awarded the right to have lawyers. But in the fight against the government machine, they will also have to overcome personal doubts.
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The film immediately makes it clear to us that Rahim’s character is a good guy. We have no doubt that he cannot be involved in the terrorist attack. A cutie, a decent family man, a believer, and even a funny joke lover. Which is logical, because the film was based on real memoirs written in the first person (how can you write badly about yourself?). Perhaps it would be better to keep the truth as intrigue to the end. So that the viewer, until the last shot, has the uncertainty of the Mauritanian’s innocence. So the conflict between the prosecution and the defense would look much more interesting, and the scenes with torture would take on a different color.
The best side of the film is certainly the way it portrays Mohammed Slahi’s imprisonment. Torture with sound, water, insomnia, sexual abuse. After that, I would also admit that I collaborated with al-Qaeda. Skillful transitions between time intervals seem to underline how Slahi ceases to feel time in prison. In addition, Tahar Rahim perfectly conveyed the image of an emotionally broken character who is difficult not to empathize with.
Speaking about the confrontation between lawyers, we have two characters: Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and Stuart Coach (Benedict Cumberbatch). Both are painfully devoted to their work and their principles. However, their intellectual confrontation will be demonstrated only by two dialogues and the speed of digging through the archives. I understand that there was no case as such, which is why it is foolish to demand polemics between the characters, as in the recent âtrial of the Chicago Sevenâ, but one way or another, the scenes with the endless sorting of paper are clearly boring. What happens after? The hero of Cumberbatch simply reverses his position, despite the fact that he was the most prominent representative of the government in the film. That is, there are no players on the side of the âbad guysâ at all (only Coach’s friend, who is clearly not enough), only the very top remains to blame. There is no competition between the prosecution and defense, because all the characters in the film are extremely conscientious and immediately begin to empathize with Slahi, and he even made friends with the guard. With such charm, it is not clear at all how he spent 14 years in prison.
Who am I to demand objectivity from the director? He has his own view of these events. However, from excessive empathy for one side, the message blaming the government for everything looks as naive and toothless as possible. Moreover, a huge number of films have been shot on the topic of 9/11 and it is difficult to say something new. There was certainly chaos in the White House after the terrorist attack. Someone used it for their own purposes, and many innocent people suffered in operations “against terrorism”. And the story of Mohammed’s memoirs, as a demonstration of all that injustice, is certainly worthy of adaptation. That there are only frames during the credits with the real Slahi. However, the film itself turned out, albeit well executed, but terribly trivial and unremarkable.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (75.9 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: DTS 2.0
English SDH, French SDH.