Debating Guantanamo

With the Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross documentary Road to Guantanamo, which focuses on the story of the Tipton Three, hitting DC theaters this weekend, I’ve been tracking down a few reviews and commentaries to prepare for the film. While I agree with Eugene Robinson that Guantanamo should be closed, I know a little less about the specifics of the story of the Tipton Three. I’ve been planning to link to David Lowery’s review of the film for several days, in particular because of David’s discussion of Winterbottom’s decision to mix interviews with the Tipton Three and re-enactments of their treatment in Guantanamo. David argues that the mixture renders the re-enactments less effective as rhetorical devices. Also worth noting: a dialogue between two IndieWIRE reviewers about Guantanamo. I’m planning to see teh film Friday when it opens, and if I’m not too busy with the move, I’ll write a review then.


  1. HarryTuttle Said,

    June 20, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

    Did you check acquarello’s review?
    I saw it recently, enjoyed these reviews while pondering on my response and meant to write my own take for a few days now…
    Looking forward to your review too.

    Anybody would agree with the filmmaker’s point no doubt. But the manipulation of documentary ethics there would almost undermine the overall credibility of the message. If we hadn’t seen it on the news, this baroque film could pass for a cultish fiction B-movie. It’s Peter Watkins turned on its head.

  2. Chuck Said,

    June 20, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

    Thanks for the pointer. I’m very curious how the re-enactments will play.

  3. Tama Said,

    June 20, 2006 @ 10:09 pm

    Personally, I found the blending of doco-style interviews with reenacted material from Guantanamo Bay very effective. I don’t think Winterbottom was trying to produce a documentary in the classical sense, but rather a film which captured something of a particular series of events and the ethical and moral issues associated with them.

    Indeed, if cameras were routinely allowed in Guantanamo Bay the objection to reenacted footage might have some weight, but I think the film is vastly more effective with this footage than without.

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