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The Oath2010

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  • 4.3
From the director of the Oscar-nominated MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY, THE OATH is a spectacularly gripping documentary that unspools like a great political thriller. It’s the crosscut tale of two men whose fateful meeting propelled them on divergent courses with Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo Bay Prison and the U.S. Supreme Court. Abu Jandal is a taxi driver in Sana’a, Yemen; his brother-in-law Salim Hamdan is a Guantanamo prisoner and the first man to face the controversial military tribunals. Jandal and Hamdan’s intertwined personal trajectories (how they became bin Laden’s bodyguard and driver respectively) act as prisms that serve to explore and contextualize a world which has confounded Western media. As Hamdan’s trial progresses, his military lawyers challenge fundamental flaws in the court system. The charismatic Jandal dialogues with his young son, Muslim students and journalists and chillingly unveils the complex evolution of his belief system post-9/11. Winner of Best Documentary Cinematography at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, THE OATH offers a rare window into a hidden realm, and the international impact of the U.S. War on Terror.

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Winner of the "Excellence in Cinematography Award for U.S. Documentary" at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.


3 members like this review

Magnificent look into the life of two men, one who was Osama Bin Laden's driver; the other his brother in-law. Laura Poitras brings their full humanity to the screen against a backdrop of the 9-11 attacks on America and the continuing nightmare of escalating violence. When you step back from all of it, you see how all are scripted to carry out their designated roles, much like characters in a Shakespearian play. This is masterful filmmaking deserving of its awards.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (16)

421aa5fefd1f0c2185dd6781562898ce?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0075
top reviewer

Magnificent look into the life of two men, one who was Osama Bin Laden's driver; the other his brother in-law. Laura Poitras brings their full humanity to the screen against a backdrop of the 9-11 attacks on America and the continuing nightmare of escalating violence. When you step back from all of it, you see how all are scripted to carry out their designated roles, much like characters in a Shakespearian play. This is masterful filmmaking deserving of its awards.

3 members like this review
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top reviewer

An amazing movie. So glad you offer it.

Excellently done. I am proud that this movie was made, I am sad that our country still maintains Guantanamo. IT is time to close it.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

If "corporate america" can be considered "persons", those humans that represent corporations should understand THIS humanity! Thanks for the truth Laura Poitras!

1 member likes this review

Excellent film. An interesting window into a multi-faceted issue and a beautiful humanizing portrait of a man who once served as bin Laden's bodyguard. I highly recommend it.

1 member likes this review

Very honest, depiction allowing the viewer to draw their on conclusions. Excellent, creative work.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Sad truth!

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top reviewer

Very insightful about the reality of the many prisoners in Guantanamo, and the men who choose Jihad. The benefits of rehabilitation and skilled interrogation stand out as well. Also interesting reflection on the effect of a society that cannot support it's citizens.

an honest look at a situation conflated and confused by our media, told through the eyes of one man and his friend. Masterful filmmaking that gets as close to a truth as anyone is going to get.

gripping

A complex film about a complex man. Very fine and balanced.

excellent.

AMAZING!

Excuse me!! Mind control of your young son to be a Jihadist, like daddy is not "people we torment", but people who torment themselves, their

women, and their world.

Yes, some kind of truth which I never see in USA in Laura Poitrus' doc called The Oath. My god, she shows us that the people we torment around the globe are real people....like us. Imagine.

An interesting look at the evil that exists on both sides.

Really great film for anyone who wants to learn about what really goes on behind what we're fed by the media. I'm grateful to have seen it. I'd give it four stars just because it must have been very difficult to make, It feels intimate and the interviews are engrossing. Hooray for these filmmakers who got the job done.