Previously at the ICA - Films
26 Mar 2011
Unfolding like a gripping novel that constantly subverts expectations, The Oath is the interlocking drama of two brothers-in-law, Abu Jandal and Salim Hamdan, whose associations with al-Qaeda in the 1990s propelled them on to two divergent paths. The film delves into Abu Jandal's daily life as a taxi driver in Sana’a, Yemen, and Hamdan’s military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay prison. Abu Jandal and Hamdan’s personal stories—how they came to serve as Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard and driver respectively—act as prisms through which to humanize and contextualize a world the Western media demonizes. As Hamdan’s trial progresses, his military lawyers challenge fundamental flaws in the court system. As charismatic Abu Jandal dialogues with his son, students, and journalists, he unveils the complex evolution of his belief system since 9/11. Exquisitely constructed and with astonishing access to subjects and information, The Oath brilliantly illuminates a realm unknown to most. Awarded the Excellence in Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival 2010.
Laura Poitras, US/Yemen 2010, 96 mins, subtitles