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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. Theres 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
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 morePublished on May 19, 2013 by Kori
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 morePublished on September 27, 2011 by Informado
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 morePublished on June 14, 2011 by Andy H
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 morePublished on October 2, 2010 by Gisli Jokull Gislason
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 morePublished on April 8, 2010 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
If they did not hate us before, they will now.
It is a very good movie.
This is a pretty good depiction of what might have happened to a number of people in the Afghanistan action. Read morePublished on March 28, 2009 by Amazon Customer
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 morePublished on February 16, 2009 by Michael Kerjman