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Extraordinary Rendition (2007)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  August 2007 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 363 users  
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A man is abducted from the streets of London and transported via secret flights to an unknown country. Held in solitary confinement and cut off from the outside world, he is plunged into a ... See full summary »



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Title: Extraordinary Rendition (2007)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maro, Interrogator
Jimmy Yuill ...
University Dean
Hassan (as Naoufal Ousellam)
Valeria Sachi ...
Greg Edwards ...
Zaafir's Father (as Ham Zanoun)
Zamira Wicking ...
Zaafir's Mother
Roddy McDevitt ...
Laurence Possa ...
Octavian (as Laurentiu Possa)
Sergei Ilic (as Nick Barlett)
Aleksandar Mikic ...
Ante (as Aleks Mikic)
Munir Khairdin ...
Munir, Interrogator's Colleague


A man is abducted from the streets of London and transported via secret flights to an unknown country. Held in solitary confinement and cut off from the outside world, he is plunged into a lawless nightmare of detention without trial, interrogation and torture. Returned without explanation to the UK many months later, he is left to pick up the pieces of a shattered life in a world he no longer recognises. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

August 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Különleges kiadatás  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Rendition, in law, is a transfer of persons from one jurisdiction to another, and the act of handing over, both after legal proceedings and according to law. Extraordinary rendition, however, is a rendition which is extralegal, i.e. outside the law. See more »


Zafir historical dates recollection includes 'fall of Constantinople 1441 a. d'. Actual date is 1453 a.d. See more »


References Nine Hours to Rama (1963) See more »


The Clock
by Thom Yorke (Radiohead)
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User Reviews

Not as extraordinary as Rendition, which itself was rather an extraordinary rendition of some perilously similar subject material to that of Extraordinary Rendition.
20 April 2011 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

As 2007 British produced, minimalist drama Extraordinary Rendition rolls on, it eventually comes to find a sort of middle ground with both itself and its subject matter; the film an intermediate if overly and in a somewhat disappointing fashion, liberal effort depicting the sorts of negative energies and sensibilities that are born out of initial feelings of state-led hatred and paranoia. Here, the key is that state incurred hate and ill-minded attitudes placed unto its citizens it cannot trust can lead only onto further hatred; alienation and disillusionment, this time at the state on the citizen's behalf. In this regard, the film appears to reach a consensus which reads along the lines of that we should stop the titular extraordinary renditions, as they are unfair; inhumane and downright amoral. It's to the film's credit that reaching this point is the taut, dramatic and effective exercise it is, but the film as a technical exercise is about as much as it has going for it.

Co-director/writer Jim Threapleton takes a lower-key, more base-level look at the sort of subject matter that it takes on. The film is not the expansive, globe trotting, narrative heavy and big-budgeted 'issue' drama Gavin Hood's 2007 film Rendition was; a film systematically weaving in character with a multi-stranded approach which worked well, ultimately a film with a similar agenda to Jim Threapleton's film about the damning nature of extraordinary renditions, but doing so by refusing to blur lines between its lead's guilt and providing us with more to get involved with. For a good stretch, Extraordinary Rendition very much feels like an awareness assignment, like a vanity project - something that exists purely to open our eyes at events or items which are unfolding on grounds not too far from home; this, much rather than a film actually prepared to aggressively tackle any sort of issue or subject material before plumbing for a stone-wall stance on the issue. In fact, it would be true to say that the film makes its points fairly quickly despite doing so dramatically and rather harrowingly.

The film begins with the roar of an aeroplane in what is a noise within somewhat unrealistic proximity to that of the location we first observe; a badly beaten man, a British-Muslim, staggers through a kind of decrepit warehouse gone unused for years looking as if he's been to Hell and back. The man is Zaafir, indeed played by a British based Morrocan born talent named Omar Berdouni, whose previous roles have seen him somewhat synonymous with parts more broadly linked to that of the threat of terrorism in the Western world; specifically, United 93 or Body of Lies. The film goes on to flashback to sunnier and more welcoming hues, as a bog-standard street in a working class part of the United Kingdom is zoned in on. City establishing shots give way to shots of estates and then a specific street and then further still a house, that notion of approaching and then finding your man prominent; an aesthetic of surveillance or a greater power bearing in on a person prominently overlying proceedings.

Zaafir lives with his girlfriend, someone with whom a healthy relationship is already in bloom. The man is a university lecturer, a lecturer at the sort of place of study in which the students badger back with equally enlightening opinions and views on sociological subjects, thus threatening to match that of the teacher; the sense of this educational institute being one of a rather sought after ilk prominent. On his walk home, he is inexplicably snatched from this idyllic world by a car full of what are perceived as yobs, gangster-like white British males few would want to come into contact with. Reveals give way to these men actually being government employed, their threatening anonymity and general representation from the briefness in which we initially see them that of how Zaafir perceived them – as overly threatening, commonplace yobs doing what they do. Zaafir awakes in a ship container somewhere, and is badgered and berated by men in suits additionally working for the British government demanding solutions to questions Zaafir cannot answer.

The film's core is made up of a series of, albeit it admittedly well shot, bits and pieces revolving around how terrible his situation is and how horrible the men whom come and see him are. Where true substance and statements on the issue of extraditing a faceless victim, who is law abiding and with a great deal at stake family-wise, might rise to the surface, Threapleton instead provides us with a series of flashbacks embedding what we already know about his private life and constructing an image of the man as an innocent and authentic citizen. It's here the film appears to run out of things to say, that these things happen and its detrimental effect on those requisitioned, guilty of terrorism or not, is a terrible thing which ought not unfold in this manner, is a point put across fairly quickly. When certain scenes towards the end, featuring Andy Serkis, no less, and a thick Russian accent, effectively take on a version of prior events played at another gear, it is the moment the film holds up its hands and rolls over to the fact it has run out of ideas. The mere regurgitation of the specific content and documenting brutal methods of interrogation, such as water-boarding, which plays out informs us of this. The film is a technical exercise, and that is all – a film pointing something out without grappling with it but doing so in a manner which is worth recommending without getting as excited about as one did with Hood's film. Regardless, it is a film advertising certain talents both on and behind the camera; talents I would not mind seeing more of in the future.

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