The Road to Guantanamo (Winterbottom, 2006)

Truly horrifying if even half of the material concerning a real life case of torture and miscommunication is remotely true. Mixing documentary interviews with fictional recreations always raises red flags with me, mainly because of the mirroring and preaching affect it has on the viewer. I almost wish Winterbottom went with one style or the other. Still, an incredibly well made film, the progression of the narrative both hallucinatory and easily believable, if not altogether based out of a breakdown in common sense. I mean, come on guys, going into Afghanistan to “help” a month after 9/11? The early part of the film seems to be as much a critique of international helplessness in the face of Western pressures than anything else. But the real substance comes from the second half, where the three English Pakistani narrators get to witness our current incarnation of American foreign policy at work, with all of it’s inhumane, gory details coming into focus. For all it’s conflicted sensationalism in terms of substance and style, The Road to Guantanamo is still a must see example of grand, conflicted political filmmaking.


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