MIFF 2010 Review: The Oath

30 Jul



A slow but steady burner of a documentary that gently hooks you in and keeps you captivated for it’s 90-odd minute running time. A rare insight into the operations of one of the most secretive and but discussed organisations in the world, al Qaeda.

The central subject of the  doco is Abu Jandal, a body guard for Osama bin Laden for 3 years who has partly turned his back on the group, the result of which is that he is a complex and conflicted man. To many, Jandal has betrayed his oath to the organisation. He lives perilous life as an outcast, struggling to support his son by driving taxis in Yemen, while mentoring a group of young men.

An interconnected line of inquiry follows the plight of his brother, imprisoned in guantanamo for 7 years and at the centre of the historical Hamdan v Rumsfeld case. Director and producer Laura Poitras has achieved a remarkable feat with an illuminating documentary which blows some of the clouds away from a very murky subject.

Beautifully shot and full of complex ambiguity, The Oath is highly worth a viewing and an interesting companion peice to Four Lionsalso showing this year.

****

Website

Last screening:

8097 THE OATH (97 min) Wed 4 Aug 7:00 PM Kino Cinemas
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