After a terrorist bombing kills an American envoy in a foreign country, an investigation leads to an Egyptian who has been living in the United States for years and who is married to an American. He is apprehended when he's on his way home. The U.S. sends him to the country where the incident occurs for interrogation which includes torture. An American CIA operative observes the interrogation and is at odds whether to keep it going or to stop it. In the meantime, the man's wife raises hell to find him despite being pregnant but the person behind this refuses to help or give her any information. Written by
Based on the true story of Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen who was mistaken for Khalid al-Masri, rumored to have been involved with the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. In 2004, El-Masri was arrested and transferred to a "black" site in Afghanistan where he was interrogated, beaten, sexually abused, and tortured for 5 months before the CIA released him, admitting that his capture and torture were a mistake. See more »
Alan Smith, working on Capitol Hill, refers to "my guy at INS." The INS ceased to exist in 2003 with the creation of the US Department of Homeland Security Citizen Immigration Services. However, it is common for older career law enforcement and others who have regularly had contact with INS over the years to refer to CIS and ICE by the former acronym (INS). See more »
In all the years you've been doing this, how often can you say that we've produced truly legitimate intelligence? Once? Twice? Ten times? Give me a statistic; give me a number. Give me a pie chart, I love pie charts. Anything, anything that outweighs the fact that if you torture one person you create ten, a hundred, a thousand new enemies.
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Imagine you have just been on a plane for 18 hours. You have been on a business trip to South Africa. You are a high-paid professional. You've lived in the US for 20 years. You are in your thirties, you have a wife a little boy and another baby on the way. One thing, even though you have a green card, you are still Egyptian. On transit you are asked to come with 2 security guards, next thing you know you are overpowered, hooded and chained and after a brief ( but still reasonably civil) interrogation you are to be rendered! This is what happens to Anwar el Ibrahimi at the beginning of the movie. His is a story of pain and ( literally )torture. It's one of several story lines. One follows his wife's attempts to get more information. One follows the (cold) bureaucrats behind the rendition. Another story deals with the family of the man who leads the interrogation of Anwar el Ibrahimi. There are some other stories too and by the end they all neatly come together. Though the more famous actors like Reese Witherspoon ( as the distraught pregnant wife ) Jake Gyllenhaal ( as the CIA rookie forced to watch the interrogation in Northern Africa) and Meryl Streep ( as CIA hotshot Corine Whitman) it is really the more unknown actors that carry the story and give it it's heart. For me the actor playing the unfortunate Mr El Ibrahimi ( Omar Metwally ) was the heart and soul of this movie. His portrayal of a man in distress was shockingly well done. It's almost as if he was being tortured for real! Also Israeli actor Yigal Naor was very impressive as the part worried family-man and part extremely cruel chief of torture. Hard to watch and not exactly fun, but still very worthwhile.
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