A young soldier escapes her suffocating small town by joining the military, only to find that she isn't going for a tour of duty in Iraq as she hoped. Instead, she's sent to Guantanamo. Met with hatred and abuse from the men in her charge, she forges an odd friendship with a young man who has been imprisoned at Gitmo for eight years.Written by
At the beginning, Cole is instructed to be in charge of the detainees "right hand" but on the bus when she describes the event, she tells the others that she was in charge of his "left arm". See more »
[inscribed in library copy of DEATHLY HALLOWS]
To Ali. I don't know if Snape's a good guy. But I know you are. Love, Blondie
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Peter Sattler's directorial debut, "Camp X-Ray," is a masterfully shot film that inhabits two stellar performances by Kristen Stewart and Payman Maadi.
Stewart plays PFC Amy Cole from small town Florida who is socially awkward and equally earnest. Meanwhile, Maadi's character of Ali Amir is a charismatic detainee whom is engulfed in his impotent anger and ceaseless boredom.
The film itself is quietly drawn and slow paced to convey the monotony of being a guard at Guantanamo Bay. "Camp X-Ray" is a two-hander for the majority of the film and it rests entirely upon the interactions of PFC Cole and Detainee 471 (Ali). Personally, I liked that the dynamic between the two is purely platonic and develops from the honest human requirement of connection. The tag line of the film "Connection takes courage" is entirely apt.
The supporting cast of Lane Garrison and John Carroll Lynch as Cpl. "Randy" Ransdell and Col. James Drummond do solid work in their roles as Cole's superiors at Camp Delta.
Sattler kept a film about Gitmo as apolitical as probably possible, but some will dislike the lack of a solid stance. The film does not offer any answers to the quagmire of Guantanamo Bay, but rather raises questions and displays the conflicting emotions one might feel while serving or detained there.
Overall, I really liked this little Sundance indie. The attention to detail is impressive and the performances are more than worth seeing.
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