This documentary/drama - a mixture between interviews and reenactments (that are so high in production value they are more than just reenactments) – by British filmmakers Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross tells the true story of several British men who were arrested in Afghanistan in the 9/11 aftermath and ended up being held at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay for years.
Often difficult to watch, this is a must-see. While it didn’t seem that the film makes a clear judgment if the British men of Pakistani descent had justifiable or “good” reasons to be where they were, the film makes a very clear case how wrong and horrible the treatment of detainees by American forces has been.
Beyond the content the film is worth watching for its quality in filmmaking. Winterbottom is a talented filmmaker both with fictional as well as with documentary projects – in both cases we feel like we’re right there experiencing real life. And we don’t feel like we’re watching “a school lesson”.
The only drawback for me was a lack of information and quite a bit of confusion during the scenes in Afghanistan. I’m not sure if some specifics of who was who and what they were doing was purposefully left out to recreate the confusion of the time or if knowledge is expected from the audience or there were other dramatic reasons why some details/information were missing.