Starring: Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, Shailene Woodley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Levi

OUR RATING: ★★★½

Story:

Legal drama directed by Kevin Macdonald. Base don a true story which follows Mohamedou Ould Salahi (Tahar Rahim), who is captured by the US Government and languishing in Guantanamo Bay detention camp without charge or trial. Losing all hope, Salahi finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodi Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley). Together, they face countless obstacles in a desperate pursuit for justice. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), eventually reveals a shocking and far reaching conspiracy.

 

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Our Favorite Quote:

'My captors cannot forgive me for something that I have never done. But I am trying to forgive. I want to forgive.' - Mohamedou Ould Slahi (The Mauritanian) Click To Tweet

 

Best Quotes


 

Emmanuel: [referring to Slahi’s family] In November 2001, their son was taken for questioning by Mauritanian police. He disappeared. For three years, they don’t know if he’s dead, in prison. They don’t know. No one knows. And then, a few weeks ago, Der Spiegel writes a story saying that he’s detained in Guantanamo Bay. They say he’s one of the organizers of nine-eleven.
Nancy Hollander: Is he?
Emmanuel: I don’t know. I haven’t spoken with him. Guantanamo will not even confirm that he’s there.


 

Nancy Hollander: [over the phone] But it’s your facility, so how do you not know who you’re holding? “He’s not not there”? What does that mean? I mean, he’s not Schrodinger’s cat. He’s either there or he’s not there.


 

John: You want to represent the head recruiter for nine-eleven?
Nancy Hollander: Alleged. And no, I’m defending habeas corpus, which Bush and Rumsfeld are dismantling gleefully as we speak.


 

Nancy Hollander: Well, the US government is holding upwards of seven hundred prisoners in Guantanamo. And we don’t know who they are. We don’t know what they’re charged with. Since when did we start locking people up without a trial in this country?


 

Bill Seidel: [to Coach] Rough justice. That’s what this administration wants. We’ve taken a lot of prisoners in Afghanistan, working our way through to Bin Laden and the guys who planned this s**t. There’s a backlog needs clearing.


 

Whit Cobb: The administration regards this as the first death penalty case. We want you to lead the prosecution.
Stuart Couch: When do we start?


 

Sergeant S. Sands: Welcome to US Naval Base Guantanamo. This base exists outside of US legal jurisdiction. If you stray outside the designated areas, you will be removed from the island. Apart from your client, you’re not to speak to, or communicate with the detainees. You’re not to discuss classified information with your client, even if it pertains to his case. Illegal disclosures may result in your arrest, and immediate removal from the island.


 

Teri Duncan: You speak English? How did you learn?
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: Same as you. One word at a time.


 

Mohamedou Ould Slahi: How can you defend me if you don’t even know what I’m charged with?
Teri Duncan: Have you been charged?
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: No! No. No. Three years, they charged me with nothing. They kidnapped me from my home, and put me in a jail in Jordan for five months, then in a military base in Afghanistan, which was like living in a toilet, by the way, and brought me here with a bag on my head and chains around my body.


 

Mohamedou Ould Slahi: I’m interrogated eighteen hours, every day, three years. That’s like, go ask Charlie Sheen to name all his girlfriends.
Teri Duncan: So you get the news here.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: Now that I cooperate, they let me have a TV. We don’t get news, but we have this show, E Exclamation.
Teri Duncan: It’s just E! I think the exclamation is silent.


 

Nancy Hollander: Will you write it down? Your story, how you came here, what happened to you, will you write that down for us?
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: So my interrogators can read it? I tried that once already. It didn’t end well.
Nancy Hollander: Well, we need your testimony.


 

Mohamedou Ould Slahi: I’ve been writing all my life, and I like that. But writing here is way much dangerous than talking.


 

Mohamedou Ould Slahi: [to Nancy and Teri] You do one thing for me. Call this number. Ask to speak to my mother. Tell her, I don’t know, something nice.


 

Mohamedou Ould Slahi: [as Nancy and Teri are leaving] See you later, alligators. Now you have to say, “After a while, crocodile.”
Nancy Hollander: Not for a while, crocodile.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: Good enough.


 

Nancy Hollander: Are you praying?
Teri Duncan: No, memorizing his mother’s number.
Nancy Hollander: Well, we’re not going to call that number. No, we got to clear it first. We don’t know who’s on the other end of that line.
Teri Duncan: You don’t think it’s his mother?
Nancy Hollander: I don’t know.


 

Arjun: [referring to Slahi] This dude is the Al-Qaeda Forrest Gump. Everywhere you look, he’s there.
Stuart Couch: It’s all there in the top sheet. Now we got to check through the intel reports and corroborate. Be exacting, thorough. We are seeking the death penalty, but if we miss something, this guy goes home. Alright? Let’s get to it.


 

Nancy Hollander: Do you know why Mohamedou wanted us to call her?
Teri Duncan: Because she’s his mother?
Nancy Hollander: Because every mother believes that her son is innocent. He wanted us to hear that. That doesn’t matter because it’s not the case we’re building. We need to prove that the US government lacks evidence sufficient to detain him. Anything else is a distraction.


 

Nancy Hollander: Wait, we didn’t get your name.
Kent: Kent.
Nancy Hollander: Kent what?
Kent: Kent tell you any more than that.


 

Teri Duncan: Where are the case files? Nancy? The government withheld the case files?
Nancy Hollander: Yeah. They’re not going to give us anything until they absolutely have to.


 

Stuart Couch: [referring to Slahi] Cathy, I’m going to make him pay.
Cathy Taylor: Thank you. You know, Bruce never liked coming to church much. He always said he felt closer to God in the cockpit. Well, if God was on Flight 175, he is sure as s**t with you right now.


 

Marseille: [in Arabic, as he hears Slahi praying in the yard] What good were your prayers if they led you here? Believe me, it’s useless.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: [in French] That’s where you’re wrong. I always prayed to see the world.
Marseille: [in French] In this world you need to be careful who you talk to.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: [in French] Why? Are you a guard?
Marseille: [in French] You’ll never know.


 

Marseille: [in French] What do I call you?
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: [in French] I’m from Mauritania.
Marseille: [in French] Okay. The Mauritanian.


 

Mohamedou Ould Slahi: [in French] What does it mean “s**t hole”?
Marseille: [in French] If you don’t know English, how will you understand the guards?
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: [in French] By the time I learn, I’ll be home already.
Marseille: [in French] Maybe. Or maybe you’ll need to pray a lot harder.


 

Marseille: [in French] My interrogator. I gave her a name.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: [in French] You shouldn’t do that.
Marseille: [in French] Yeah, I know.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: [in French] Now they’ll make someone else suffer like us.
Marseille: [in French] Yes. I told them, Omar Sharif.
[Slahi laughs]


 

Marseille: [in French] The American don’t know s**t that isn’t American.


 

Nancy Hollander: [referring to files] What the f*** is this, Kent? It’s all redacted.
Kent: Hey, I’m responsible for what goes out. You got a problem with what comes in, you take it up with the government.


 

Stuart Couch: The White House is breathing down my neck to charge Slahi, and I’m still fumbling around for a light switch.


 

Nancy Hollander: And you need to keep writing, because your letters are invaluable, especially now. The government won’t show us the evidence they have against you.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: Because they have none. You’ll see. I’ll keep writing. And, they are good? My letters? I mean, you understand everything?
Teri Duncan: No, they’re great. You should’ve been a writer.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: Next life, God willing.


 

Nancy Hollander: Now I need you to sue the government.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: What?
Nancy Hollander: We have to file a motion to compel to get them to release the evidence that they have against you. We can’t fight what we don’t know.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi: I mean what I say. There’s no evidence. I trust you, you trust me.

 


 

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