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The Road to Guantanamo (2006)

Riz Ahmed , Farhad Harun , Mat Whitecross , Michael Winterbottom  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Riz Ahmed, Farhad Harun, Shahid Iqbal, Waqar Siddiqui, Arfan Usman
  • Directors: Mat Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom
  • Producers: Michael Winterbottom, Andrew Eaton, Lee Thomas, Melissa Parmenter, Michael Elliott
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 24, 2006
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HOL67U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,327 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Road to Guantanamo" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Road to Guantanamo is a terrifying first-hand account of three young men, British nationals of Muslim faith who were held for two years without charges in the American military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Known as the "Tipton Three," in reference to their home town in Britain, the three were eventually returned to Britain and released, still having had no formal charges ever made against them at any time during their ordeal. Part documentary, part dramatization, the film chronicles the sequence of events that led the trio from Tipton in the British Midlands to a wedding in Pakistan to their crossing the Afghanistan border just as the U.S. began its bombing campaign, to eventual capture by the Northern Alliance to imprisonment at Camp X-Ray and later at Camp Delta in Guantanamo.

After Welcome to Sarajevo and In This World, The Road to Guantánamo is Michael Winterbottom's most important film. Along with United 93, it's one of the most important films released by anyone in 2006. In the docudrama, which was produced for British television, Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross recount the travails of the Tipton Three, a trio of Britons detained for two years at Guantánamo Bay. How did these apolitical Muslims end up as suspected terrorists? The directors attempt to answer that question by inter-cutting interviews and news footage with recreations of their Kafka-esque journey. It starts with a trip to Pakistan for the wedding of Asif (Afran Usman). In short order, he's joined by Ruhel (Farhad Harun), Shafiq (Riz Ahmed), and Monir (Waqar Siddiqui). On a whim, they decide to visit Afghanistan: "One, for experience, and two, to help." It proves to be their undoing. First, they're caught in a bombing raid; then the Northern Alliance rounds them up as members of al-Qaeda. In the mêlée, Monir goes missing. The remaining three are shipped to Cuba, where US officials stop at nothing to coerce confessions. There’s a hard-won happy ending, but it isn't easy to watch--Alan Parker's Ollie Stone-penned Midnight Express seems downright lyrical in comparison. Further, the acting is inconsistent and the character development is sketchy. Those flaws aside, The Road to Guantánamo is powerful and provocative stuff. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Much Will We Pay For Our Freedoms? November 3, 2006
How much is too much when considering the price of our freedoms and liberties? Do all people, regardless of race, creed, sex, ethnicity, or political affiliation, deserve legal representation? Watch THE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO and then ask yourself these questions.

The Road to Guantanamo is about a group of friends known as The Tipton Three, Middle Eastern men who live in England and decide to travel to Pakistan where one of them plans to be wedded. Although they start out as four, one quickly disappears as they travel across the border into Afghanistan on a roadtrip. Unfortunately for them, this was right at the time the U.S. began its battle with the Taliban. Bombs drop around Shafiq, Ruhel, Monir, and Asif, the young men who start out on this hellish journey. They quickly try to get away but are led into even more dangerous areas by suspicious men with guns who lock them up in cargo trucks or force them to trek into the desert. Soon, U.S. and British forces arrive and take Shafiq, Ruhel, and Asif into custody. The whereabouts of Monir are never discovered. His body is never found.

Filmed using actors and the original Tipton three, the documentary is a disturbing treatise on prisoners of war. That we see the bizarre circumstances leading to their "arrest" and incarceration is even more disturbing considering these men were officially residents of England. But because they have Middle Eastern blood in their veins, they are immediately labeled as terrorists or Taliban fighters or (unbelievably) Al Qaeda.

The road that The Three travel is horrifying. Death hits near them on every stretch, nearly killing one or all of them at some point; whether its dysentery, Allied bombs, or torture.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never to be forgoten September 15, 2006
By now, I must have seen thousands of movies, Most of them faded away during time, but there are some great movies that you will never forget.

The Road To Guantanamo is one of those movies that will linger in your memory for a long time to come.

It will leave you shocked, it will make to think about the world we live in, the society, the culture and mostly the big events happening in during our life?

This is a documentary movie, set in our past and current time and I assure you that every time you watch the news, there will be something linking to this movie for many years to come.


How much truth is in this film? Please read this peice of news article published on 19th sep 2006.

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - A Saudi has been held in solitary confinement for a year at the Guantanamo Bay prison and is now so mentally unbalanced he considers insects his friends, lawyers said in a motion filed Monday seeking the man's removal from isolation.

Shaker Aamer, a 37-year-old resident of Britain, was placed in isolated confinement Sept. 24, 2005, and has been beaten by guards, deprived of sleep and subjected to temperature extremes, according to the motion filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The treatment violates Geneva Conventions protections, Aamer's lawyers argued. The U.S. military denied he is being mistreated.

"They choked him," the lawyer said. "They bent his nose repeatedly so hard to the side he thought it would break. ... They gouged his eyes. They held his eyes open and shined a mag-lite in them for minutes on end, generating intense heat. They bent his fingers until he screamed. When he screamed, they cut off his airway, then put a mask on him so he could not cry out."
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Abrogation of Human Rights and Due Process. May 14, 2007
"The Road to Guantanamo" tells the story of "The Tipton Three", three young British men who were held in U.S. custody for 2 years, first in Afghanistan and later in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, accused of being supporters of Al Qaeda. Asif Iqbal, Ruhel Ahmed, and Shafiq Rasul had traveled to Pakistan for Asif's wedding. On a lark, the group foolishly took a trip to Afghanistan at the worst possible time: October 2001, when the United States invaded Afghanistan following the attacks of September 11. Caught in the bloody melee of bombings and Taliban resistance, the men ended up among Taliban fighters as they tried to return to Pakistan. The threesome were arrested by the Northern Alliance, which turned them over to the U.S. military. Initially relieved to be in U.S. custody, they soon found that the Americans were determined to find them guilty of being jihadists. And if evidence was lacking, their captors were willing to coerce confessions.

The story is told through interviews with Asif, Ruhel, and Shafiq and through re-enactments of their experiences, where the men are played by actors. Michael Winterbottom directed this film, which initially struck me as not being as polished as his fiction films. But, upon reflection, the recreations of the bloodshed in Afghanistan and life for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are fairly meticulous and expert. Winterbottom undoubtedly did not want to give the impression of polish or contrivance, but of immediacy and realism in depicting the ordeal these three men suffered. The men were imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay from January 2002 to March 2004, first at "Camp X-Ray" and then at "Camp Delta".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Pure Bull
I've decided that I needed to say something about this film. I served in GITMO. None of the things that are depicted in this so called documentary actually happened while I was... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Kori
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit slow
This DVD was on a very important topic, but like many documentaries, it was a bit slow. I would still recommend that Americans see it to understand some of what was done in our... Read more
Published on September 27, 2011 by Informado
1.0 out of 5 stars Suspension of Disbelief
This, for me, failed to bridge the gap between fiction and reality. It presented itself as a documentary, but in now way convinced that the "scripted" scenes rang true and were... Read more
Published on June 14, 2011 by Andy H
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing one sided view
I confess I had high hops of this film by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross. The topic is touchy and flamable and likely to stir upp emotions. Read more
Published on October 2, 2010 by Gisli Jokull Gislason
5.0 out of 5 stars These small incidents and unsaid facts behind the news!
Inspired by real facts, this demolishing and realistic movie told in documental style, reveals and shows us part of the unknown truth after the fatidical and painful sequel of... Read more
Published on April 8, 2010 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
5.0 out of 5 stars We must rethink what we do
If they did not hate us before, they will now.

It is a very good movie.
Published on February 23, 2010 by Rich Barber
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty decent
This is a pretty good depiction of what might have happened to a number of people in the Afghanistan action. Read more
Published on March 28, 2009 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars No Piety for the Abused
It is a story of explicit abuse of British Pushtu's human rights in which being abused attracted not much piety at all because energy sustaining terror and breading the martyrs... Read more
Published on February 16, 2009 by Michael Kerjman
3.0 out of 5 stars WHY DID THEY GO?
The Road To Guantanamo

The reasons for these intellectually challenged British Muslims leaving England and going directly to a war zone is left remarkably unclear. Read more
Published on November 1, 2007 by nmollo
3.0 out of 5 stars WHY DID THEY GO?
The Road To Guantanamo

The reasons for these intellectually challenged British Muslims leaving England and going directly to a war zone is left remarkably unclear. Read more
Published on November 1, 2007 by nmollo
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