Directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland; How I Live Now; One Day in September; State of Play) and starring Tahar Rahim (A Prophet; Black Gold; Mary Magdalene), Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs; The Accused; Taxi Driver; Bugsy Malone), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game; The Courier; 1917; Avengers: Infinity War; The Current War; August: Osage County; The Fifth Estate; Sherlock (tv series)) and Shailene Woodley (Divergent; the Fault in Our Stars; Big Little Lies (TV Series); The Secret Life of the American Teenager (TV Series)).
Drama; 129 mins
Set primarily in the US military detention centre in Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, this film charts the initial capture of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim) by US forces based on his suspected links behind the scenes of the 9/11 attacks on the US. The story is based on Mohamedou's book "Guantánamo Diary" and focus on the period around 7 years into his captivity, during which he had not been charged yet had been repeatedly tortured.
In steps lawyer Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) who takes his case on pro-bono much to the disgust / disappointment of others in the law firm. A junior lawyer, Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley), starts helping her on Mohamedou's case, but they face a difficult and bureaucratic fight littered with hurdles along the way.
Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch) is appointed from within the US military as prosecutor, and he too finds it challenging to obtain original documents. Both sets of lawyers are frustrated at only being allowed to see redacted documents, with key informnation missing, including dates which means that they find it almost possible to build a timeline. Along the way, they discover shocking evidence which reveals what Mohamedou has been subjected to for the past number of years.
Meanwhile, one of the biggest challenges is whether Mohamedou will trust his lawyers.
The main issue here is not whether Mohamedou is guilty of being involved, directly or indirectly, in the planning of the 9/11 attacks, but about human rights and legal process. Both sets of lawyers are repeatedly stonewalled in their fights for justice that tests their commitment to the law and their client.
A revealing and insightful dramatic retelling of one person's fight for justice in the Guantánamo Bay prison camp, with flashbacks to when he was captured and his family; but not necessarily for the faint-hearted with scenes of torture and abuse by his captors. Aided by some sterling acting by the four lead actors mentioned above.