The Oath

Rated NR 90 minutes 2010

In this provocative documentary, Laura Poitras follows the divergent paths of two Yemeni friends who worked for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and contrasts the price each man paid for his proximity to the 9/11 hijackers. In the late 90s, the passionate jihadist Abu Jandal served as bin Laden's bodyguard and as emir of a guest house for Al Qaeda trainees, where he met several of the hijackers; he also recruited to the cause his quieter and more reflective friend Salim Hamdan, who worked as bin Laden's chauffeur. Hamdan was captured during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, spent seven years in Guantanamo, and became the plaintiff in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the landmark case in which the Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration for violating the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Jandal got off easy by comparison, serving three years in a Yemeni prison and returning to private life, where Poitras shows him basking in the media spotlight and advising young jihadists. There's no justice, the movie suggests, and there's sure as hell no peace.

Film Credits

Director: Laura Poitras

Producer: Nasser Arrabyee, Aliza Kaplan and Jonathan Oppenheim

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The Oath

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