9/10 You’d be forgiven if you were a millennial like me who was in middle school during 9/11 and high school in the George W. Bush era for thinking that Guantanamo Bay was a facility for housing proven terrorists awaiting trial. As a younger, less educated person, that’s what I thought it was. “Lock them up and throw away the key. After all, these people are responsible for 9/11. Why haven’t we executed them yet?” Oh how off base (no pun intended) my assumptions were. “The Mauritanian” takes just one of the men being held in Guantanamo Bay, Mohamedou Ould Salahi and sheds a light on his tragic story. It was pretty incredible to see my own emotions and views changing the longer I watched this fantastic film. I came away saddened and infuriated by the time the ending text came up on screen right before the credits, but I came away more educated and reaffirmed in my beliefs on the unconstitutional evils of both the terrible Bush administration and the abysmal Obama administration. Salahi was held for years (I don’t want to specify how many only to avoid minor spoilers) without being charged with a crime and was brutally tortured, despite government officials lacking evidence that he was a terrorist. It was one of the countless human rights violations perpetrated by the Bush and Obama administrations and as a military veteran myself, one that infuriates me to no end. Speaking of the military, I really appreciated that the film’s four screenwriters and director Kevin Macdonald didn’t portray swaths of groups like Middle Easterners or the military in broad black and white strokes. It is easy to paint a complicit military as evil, despite how complicated even some of their actions were, but the fantastic Benedict Cumberbatch was able to show how not all military members just shut up and follow orders and I appreciated the nuance that the film makers gave his character. The acting is fantastic all across the board with Jodie Foster giving her best performance in years but the real stand out for me was Tahar Rahim, who has been around for over a decade but whose other work I have not yet discovered. Looks like I have some more film/TV viewing to do. Besides the acting, the script is tight, the pacing works extremely well, the production and costume design are all era appropriate and the score was subtle yet effective. From a film making standpoint, this film is firing on all cylinders. Yet it is the most important aspect, the story, that sucks the audience in, entertains, enthralls, infuriates and educates all at once, making this a memorable film going experience. So far one of the best films of 2021, “The Mauritanian” is a must see for any Democrat, Republican or Independent who follows politics closely and who might not be aware of what the American government has tried to sweep under the rug for so many years.

#ANonProphet / #TheSilenceOfThePrograms / #DirectedByMichaelGuantanamoBay / #TheFaultInOurCzars / #TheInterrogationGame / #TheCastingStuartCouch

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