Template:Infobox film The Oath is a 2010 documentary film directed by Laura Poitras. It tells the cross-cut tale of two men, Abu Jandal and Salim Ahmed Hamdan, whose meeting launched them on juxtaposed paths with al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, the September 11 attacks, US military tribunals and the U.S. Supreme Court. The Oath is distributed both theatrically and non-theatrically in the US by New York-based Zeitgeist Films.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The film revolves around Abu Jandal, a taxi driver in San'a, Yemen and his brother-in-law Salim Hamdan, a Guantanamo Bay prisoner and the first defendant in the controversial U.S. military tribunals. Brothers-in-law, Jandal and Hamdans' (bin Laden's former bodyguard and driver respectively) personal trajectories become tragically intertwined after Hamdan is sent to Guantanamo Bay (although he seems "innocent.") The film's two main characters serve as a vehicle to explore and contextualize issues that have befuddled Western media in the post-9/11 world - questioning our notions of jihad, loyalty and al-Qaeda. Filmmaker Laura Poitras inter-cuts Hamdan's trial (his lawyer's attempts to challenge court system flaws) and Jandal's contradictory conversations with his son, Muslim pupils and media interviews.

Awards[edit | edit source]

The film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the "Excellence in Cinematography Award for U.S. Documentary". It was also featured at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2010 and the South by Southwest film festival in March 2010.[1][2][3]

The director Laura Poitras won the "True Vision Award" at the True/False Film Festival for the creation of the documentary.[4] The film will have its television premiere on PBS's show P.O.V. in 2010.[2]

Film festivals[edit | edit source]

The film was presented at the San Francisco International Film Festival in late April 2010 and the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival in early October 2010.[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "The inside story". The National. 2010-02-17. Archived from the original on 2010-02-19. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenational.ae%2Fapps%2Fpbcs.dll%2Farticle%3FAID%3D%2F20100218%2FART%2F702179978%2F1208&date=2010-02-19. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The Oath Honored at the Sundance Film Festival". Beyond the box. 2001-10-20. Archived from the original on 2010-02-19. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbeyondthebox.org%2Fthe-oath-honored-at-the-sundance-film-festival%2F&date=2010-02-19. 
  3. Doug Van Pelt (2010-03-19). "As the Interactive side of the SXSW Festival winds down, the Film fest keeps on going … and the Music kicks into gear tomorrow". The Hard Music Magazine. Archived from the original on 2010-04-14. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hmmagazine.com%2F2010%2F03%2Fsxsw-2010-3%2F&date=2010-04-14. 
  4. Jonathon Braden (2010-02-28). "Picturing a better vision". Columbia Tribune. http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/feb/28/picturing-a-better-vision/. Retrieved 2010-02-28. "Last night, Poitras received the True/False Film Fest’s only award, the True Vision Award, annually given to the filmmaker 'whose work shows a dedication to the creative advancement of the art of nonfiction filmmaking.'" 
  5. Hannah Eaves (2010-05-26). "http://www.linktv.org/about/blog/post/408/sfiff-upcoming-documentaries". LinkTV. http://www.linktv.org/about/blog/post/408/sfiff-upcoming-documentaries. Retrieved 2010-04-27. "Also screening this week is The Oath, a riveting documentary portrait of Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden's bodyguard of four years, and Jandal's brother-in-law Salim Hamdan, who was released from Guantanamo after the landmark case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld." 

External links[edit | edit source]

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