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In 2001, four Pakistani Britons, Ruhal Ahmed, Asif Iqbal and Shafiq Rasul and another friend, Monir, travel to Pakistan for a wedding and in a urge of idealism, decide to see the situation of war torn Afganistan which is being bombed by the American forces in retaliation for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Once there, with the loss of Monir in the wartime chaos, they are captured by Northern Alliance fighters. They are then handed them over the American forces who transport them to the prison camps at the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba. What follows is three years of relentless imprisonment, interrogations and torture to make them submit to blatantly wrong confessions to being terrorists. In the midst of this abuse, the three struggle to keep their spirits up in that face of this grave injustice. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Two of the actors (Riz Ahmed and Farhad Harun) and two of the ex-detainees were detained temporary and interrogated at the airport by the British police when they returned from the Berlinale-festival where the movie got the Silver Bear. According to BBC-news Ahmed said he was asked if he intended to make any more political films. See more »
When one of the "detainees" is first brought into the interrogation tent, a guard accidentally lifts the man's shirt, revealing the wire of a remote microphone. See more »
[rapping to an American guard]
My name's Shafiq Rasul, and I'm from Tipton, I tell them I ain't Taliban, but they don't wanna listen. You won't believe I just came out here, for my mate's wedding, do you? I never thought my ass, would be heading for Cuba.
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The film provides an excellent portrayal of the horrors that the US and the UK have gone to in the pursuit of the War on Terror, and also a damning indictment of the workings of the minds that are behind this "War". I feel that the film may well deserve the acclaim it gets purely on the basis of the bravery that it cast and direction have shown in making it- their freedoms and possibly their careers may be impinged upon as a result.
This fact was well illustrated in the recent incident that I feel brings the reality of Guantanamo and the War on Terror closer to home. It was documented that the cast, returning to Luton having picked up the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival, were taken aside and questioned by police. In a haunting piece of irony, the mini-detention at Luton airport served as a mirror of Guantanamo. The actors were racially insulted (a policewoman telling one actor-"I'll get my male colleague to handle you- you Muslims don't like dealing with women do you?"); physically provoked (a policeman wrestling one of the actor's phones out of his hand to inspect his phone book); denied any legal recourse (they were not allowed to call their lawyers); insulted (one of the actors was called a "f****r" by a police officer); and generally treated by the supposed arbiters of justice in such a way befitting of people who know they are above the law and thus permit themselves to do what they like. Such occurrences are now commonplace in the life of the Tipton Three. Will it be the same for the actors who had the courage to play them?
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