“Mavritanets” will tell about the past – Kommersant FM – Kommersant

The trial drama “The Mauritanian” with Benedict Cumberbatch about a prisoner of Guantanamo is released. Engineer Mohammed Ould Slahi spent almost 15 years in prison – all this time he could not be formally charged. He was released in 2016. Even before he was released from prison, the suspect wrote a book called “Diary of Guantanamo” – this story formed the basis of the film. Vladislav Viktorov will tell you the details.

Mohammed Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian engineer, was sent to Guantanamo in 2002 – at that time he had already been in several prisons, where he was tortured. The suspicions were serious: according to the investigation, he could have recruited terrorists who hijacked planes and sent them to the Twin Towers on September 11. He did indeed swear allegiance to Al-Qaeda (a terrorist organization banned in Russia), but severed ties with the organization. For several years Slahi could not count on protection. And when he got a lawyer, it turned out that no one wanted to take on such a case, since the degree of public condemnation was too high. Only lawyer Nancy Hollander was not afraid of him, her role was played by Jodie Foster.

You will have to fight the system in the person of the military attorney Stuart Coach. The hero of Benedict Cumberbatch wants to achieve the death penalty for a suspect, and for him this is almost a personal revenge – he was familiar with a Boeing pilot. Tahar Rahim played the main role of the Moorish engineer. He not only interacted with Mohammed Ould Slahi, but also wore shackles for several hours a day, filmed in a cold cell and ate an extreme diet to better feel the prisoner’s experience.

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Jodie Foster was also impressed by the story of the former prisoner, and she could not give up the role: “Through his spirituality, faith and humanity, he was able to forgive. This surprised me, and I don’t understand how he didn’t get angry. He tried to find joy and love. This is an example for all of us. He also always strove to the West, to democratic countries. He believed that a fair trial was important there. But America was not what he thought. “

Mohammed Ould Slahi wrote the book “Diary of Guantanamo” back in 2005. And in English, which I learned almost from scratch in prison. It was declassified only eight years later, and it came to publication only in 2015. The rights to the film adaptation of the book were sold almost immediately – the suspect and his lawyer hoped that the high-profile picture could speed up Slahi’s release. As a result, “Mauritanian” turned out to be antisocial and honest, says film critic Yegor Belikov: “The judicial part begins towards the end, and, in general, the drama itself is quite emotional, in my opinion.

Compared to the Trial of the Chicago Seven, The Mauritanian is much more puffy.

In the first film there is a lot of flirting, mockery, of course, both directorial and screenwriting skills, but “The Mauritanian” breaks through more precisely with its uncomplicated honesty. “

The press in the United States called the picture outdated – the themes of 9/11 and the Guantanamo prisoners were explored by many directors. However, in Russia, critics say, “Mauritanian” is perceived very differently and sharply reminds of the shortcomings of the judicial system.

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Elena Ivanova


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