Sundance: The Oath

Filmmaker Laura Poitras' documentary tells the story of Salim Hamdam, bin Laden's former driver who spent seven years detained at Guantanamo Bay. His story is told through his letters home to his family, as well as, the eyes of his brother-in-law (and bin Laden's former bodyguard), Abu Jandal, who now drives a taxi in Yemen.

The film does an excellent job portraying Abu Jandal as an approachable, charismatic, and intelligent man. At the beginning of the film, I found myself vacillating between liking and hating him. He introduced Hamden to jihad and now feels responsible for his imprisonment.

I found one of the most compelling characters to be the military attorney who represented Hamden during his military tribunal. He clearly expressed his contempt at the they way the American government was stepping beyond its legal boundaries with the Guantanamo Bay prisoners. I was surprised that a military officer would openly denounce the government's dealings with the prisoners at Guantanamo.

The film will be screened four more times during Sundance. It's a balloted film in the U.S. Documentary category.

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