From the director of the Oscar-nominated My Country, My Country
, The Oath is a spectacularly gripping documentary that unfolds like a great political thriller. It's the crosscut tale of two men whose fateful meeting propelled them on divergent courses with Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Abu Jandal is a taxi driver in Sana'a, Yemen; his brother-in-law Salim Hamdan is a Guantanamo prisoner and the first man to face the controversial military tribunals. Jandal and Hamdan's intertwined personal trajectories - how they became Bin Laden's bodyguard and driver respectively - act as prisms that serve to explore and contextualize a world that has confounded Western media. As Hamdan's trial progresses, his military lawyers challenge fundamental flaws in the court system. The charismatic Jandal dialogues with his young son, Muslim students and journalists, and chillingly unveils the complex evolution of his belief system post-9/11. Winner of Best Documentary Cinematography at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, The Oath
offers a rare window into a hidden realm and into the international impact of the U.S. War on Terror.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
- New anamorphic transfer, created from new HD elements
- Additional footage and interviews
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- Theatrical trailers
The most revelatory and essential documentary of 2010! --David Edelstein, New York Magazine
An intimate character study (of a Yemeni cab driver who once worked as Osama bin Laden's bodyguard) and a wide-ranging critique of the American war on terror. --Dennis Lim, The New York Times
Just how deep inside Jandal's world Poitras goes is all the more striking given the inherent cultural barriers and danger she faced as a female filmmaker shooting a former Al-Qaeda operative in Yemen. --Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times