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THE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO
USA: Roadside Attractions
Cast: Riz Ahmed, Farhad Harun, Waqar Siddiqui, Arfan Usman, Shahid Iqbal, Sher Khan, Jason Salkey, Jacob Gaffney, Mark Holden, Duane Henry, William Meredith, Payman Bina, Adam James, Ian Hughes, Jamie Buller, Mark Sproston, Nancy Crane, Ewan Bailey, Martin McDougall, Naser Ranjha, Justin Lynch, Sara Stewart, Demitri Goritsas, James McNeill, Sasha Pick, Steve Beckingham, Brian Flaherty, Jason Schams, Andre Pitts, Justin Thomson, Tom Whitecross, Kieran O'Brien
Directors: Michael Winterbottom, Mat Whitecross
USA: 95 mins
USA Rated: R for language and disturbing violent content
USA Release Date: 23 June 2006 (Limited Release)
Acclaimed UK director Michael Winterbottom helms this intense, fact based thriller about three UK citizens who travelled to Pakistan for a wedding and ended up in Guantanamo Bay for more than two years. Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival, THE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO was filmed on location in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and the UK.
THE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO is an epic journey - telling the story of four friends their misunderstandings, ignorance, confusions and friendships as step by step they go from the safety of their small-town teenage existence to the heart of the 'war on terror'.
On September 10th 2001 Asif Iqbal' s mother returned home from a visit to Pakistan. She had found a girl for Asif (19) to marry. Nine days later Asif set off for the small village near Faisalabad in the Punjab where his bride to be lived. Whilst he was in the village his best man called to tell him that he couldn't come out for the wedding. So Asif called another friend from Tipton - Ruhel Ahmed. Ruhel (19 years old in Autumn 2001), agreed to come out to be best man. A few days later he flew out with two other friends - Shafiq Rasul (23) and Monir Ali (22).
They set off from Tipton in the English Midlands in September 2001 for a wedding and a holiday. Two and a half years later three of them returned home. Their story is told through a mixture of interviews with the men, news archive and recreation of their ordeal.
Their journey took them from Tipton, to Karachi, Kandahar, Kabul and Konduz, where they were captured by the Northern Alliance, imprisoned in Sheberghan and then flown by the Americans to Kandahar. From there they were taken to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where they were imprisoned in Camp X-Ray then Camp Delta for more than two years. The Americans accused them of being international terrorists and claimed they had footage of them with Osama Bin Laden and Mohammed Atta. They were released when they proved that one of them had been working at Curry's, an electrical superstore, at the time and the other two were on parole in Tipton.