A Guantánamo detainee’s harrowing ordeal hits the big screen


The Mauritanian tells the story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who was held in the infamous jail for 14 years without charge or trial.

Mauritanian Mohamedou Ould Slahi was imprisoned for 14 years without charge or trial at Guantánamo Bay. He wrote a bestselling novel, which included sleep deprivation and beatings, about his incarceration and torture. “Now the story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi is told in an upcoming feature film whose recreation of the U.S. detention center is so realistic that when he saw it, he was visibly shaken. Kevin Macdonald, the film’s award-winning director, entitled The Mauritanian, said, “He came to the set of Guantánamo. When you get him to recall, a physical shift com com, either by talking or being in that setting,

“I’m not a psychologist, but I can see that he’s suffering from PTSD, and it’s a very physical thing. With his face, he starts doing weird things. You can just see that he doesn’t feel well. He was fidgety and didn’t want to be there. Who can blame him? “He added, “He’s incredibly warm, funny and clever, but when he talks about the dark things that happened at Guantánamo, the abuses, the psychology, he said, “He’s incredibly warm, funny and clever, but when he talks about the dark things that happened at Guantánamo, the abuses, the psychology.

Tahar Rahim, the French-Algerian star of the prison thriller A Prophet, portrays Slahi in The Mauritanian – which hits theatres in February. Jodie Foster plays his lawyer Nancy Hollander, and Lt. Col. Stuart Couch is military prosecutor Benedict Cumberbatch. Slahi, born in 1970 in Mauritania, was incarcerated from 2002 to 2016 at Guantánamo. During the 1980s insurgency in Afghanistan, he had pledged allegiance to al-Qaida, even though he claimed to have renounced it later and denied participation in terrorism.

“Finally, an administrative review found that he did not pose a “continuing significant danger to the security of the United States.” He wrote his Guantánamo diary during his detention, describing the physical and psychological torture: “I began to hallucinate and hear voices as pure as crystal…. Later, the guards took advantage of these hallucinations and started speaking in strange voii.

“But I didn’t let them get to me.” He said that to end the ordeal, he was forced to false confessions and told his interrogators that he intended to blow up the Toronto CN Tower.

When asked whether he was telling the truth, he responded, ‘I don’t care as long as you’re happy.’ “Macdonald’s research included an interview with Hollander: “I asked her, ‘Are you 100% sure he’s innocent? ‘Because a major part of the movie is about deciding whether he’s innocent or not.

She said,’ After the millions of dollars spent by the American government investigating every aspect of his life, torturing him, and checking him with a lie detector, don’t you think there will be any evidence? ‘She definitively does not want to say that he never did anything wrong. “When he was 18 or 19, he joined al-Qaida. In this situation, he thought he wanted to stop the Soviets from killing fellow Muslims. He didn’t know what group it was. It turned out to be al-Qaeda. He never fought because the Soviet war was over.

Did he have ideas that he shared with jihadists sometimes? Maybe.

“But just because you think something briefly doesn’t mean you’re a criminal. “Macdonald tried “mainly by suggestion” to depict Slahi’s torture. He’s beaten up, he’s force-fed, but in a way that I hope is palatable to the viewer. We wanted to make the movie all about the psychological effects rather than seeing things physically…. “As far as we were able to shoot it, the one area that is absolutely precise is his treatment from the time he came to the end – and what the cell looked like, how cold the air conditioning was, where the toilet was in relation to where he could pray, and how his shackles were made. “It’s not a political film,” he added. “It’s not a political film.



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