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Running Time:
1 hour, 31 Minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for language and disturbing violent content

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A remarkably powerful docudrama.

Additional Info:
No extra DVD Features



The Road to Guantanamo
Using a mix of real and non-professional actors, co-directors Michael Winterbottom ("24 Hour Party People,") and Mat Whitecross have assembled an impressive docudrama that recreates, one of the most heinous recent examples of wrongdoing by the U.S. military. The film re-enacts how three friends - Asif (Arfan Usman), Ruhel (Farhad Harun), and Shafiq (Rizwan Ahmed), all innocent British Muslims - landed in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps, where they were imprisoned without charges for over two harrowing years. The three young men, became known as the "Tipton Three" (after their Midlands hometown), were visiting Pakistan for a wedding when they impulsively decided to take a side trip to Afghanistan on a humanitarian mission. But because it was October 2001, just days after 9/11, the young men (along with a fourth friend, Monir, who would soon disappear, never to be seen again) find themselves arriving in Kandahar just as the U. S. is bombing the Taliban. A few weeks later, bored and waylaid by the war, the guys head back to Pakistan, but they end up in a van that goes the wrong way, taking them north, where they become trapped in one of the last remaining Taliban strongholds. A series of grueling incidents leads to Ruhel, Asif, and Shafiq being mistaken for terrorists, detained in an Afghani prison, then turned over to U.S. authorities back at Kandahar, where they're beaten and interrogated. The guys tell their captors the truth about who they really are, but no one believes them. Denied outside help from their families or the British government, Asif, Shafiq, and later, Ruhel, are flown to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they become detainees in outdoor, kennel-style cages at Camp X-Ray. There they suffer humiliation, torture, and an endless circle of questioning and accusations by U.S. and British officials. The three are eventually moved to the newly built Camp Delta, where the cruelty is stepped up in the hopes that they'll break and "admit" they're Jihadists. At this point, the military doesn't seem to care if it's true or not, just as long as they can save face for illegally detaining the three clueless men. The "Tipton Three" were finally released in early 2004; not surprisingly, they recently filed a lawsuit against their U.S. captors (including Donald Rumsfeld), under violation of their religious rights. The movie combines effective dramatizations which are intercut with archival news footage and interviews with the real-life men. lt contains a slew of hard-to-watch moments you'll find hard to erase from your mind. Juxtaposed with these staggeringly real scenes are news clips of George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Tony Blair commenting on and defending their military actions to decidedly wry effect. Their words ring even hollower than they usually do.






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