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While traveling to Morocco to initiate a food program of his own to help poor kids, the Dutch Martijn is kidnapped by a group of terrorists and his guide Gavin is executed in cold blood in front of him. Along the days, Martijn is tortured by a Muslin man and Aicha and looses four fingers. In the end, the truth about his travel is finally disclosed. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When Martijn flails around trying to get free he bends one of the chair legs. Later when Aicha helps him up, the chair is no longer damaged. See more »
At a certain point the torturers claim that the cut off fingers could still be sewed back on by a good doctor. But that's more than 24 hours after the first finger, and thus impossible. The storing on ice is not very helpful either: the frost would damage the fingers after a short while. See more »
[drops his accent after taking down the names of Martijin's co-conspirators]
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This is a tense psychological drama. A Dutch banker travels to Morocco to set up a food program at the behest of his Moroccan girlfriend. He is kidnapped by a group of extremists who hold him captive and ultimately torture him for information. But who, we wind up asking, is ultimately who? And what truly are everyone's motives? It's a tough film to watch as it deals not only with terrorism and our assumptions about terrorists but also with the challenging topic of torture as a means of obtaining information.
The best parts of the film involve the intense dialogs between the three main characters of the captive, Martijn (Ryan Phillippe), the captor, Ahmat (Laurence Fishburne), and the captor's accomplice, Aicha (Gina Torres). These three actors' performances are outstandingly authentic and riveting. There's no question that if you love to see actors at the top of their game that you shouldn't miss this film. Ryan Phillippe's role as Martijn, however, is the most demanding and he never falters. As the focus character, Ryan's performance creates an incredibly intelligent and complex character.
But this, nevertheless, is a flawed film. It sometimes stumbles over itself. There seems to be some serious issues with editing and pacing. That's too bad. But this is still definitely worth watching if you can handle it's frank look at modern man's sojourn into primitive behavior.
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