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Movie Review: The Mauritanian (in theaters FRI 02.12.21)

(G4E Reviewer: Matthew Snider) I went into this film blind, as in knowing nothing, seeing nothing, something that put me in a good place to really dive into the drama that unfolded.

The Mauritanian or prisoner 760 is based on a true story about one of the hundreds of detainees that were unlawfully kept in-prisoned in Guantanamo Bay after the 9/11 attacks on US soil.

The premise as described on Wikipedia is as follows: The film follows Mohamedou Ould Salahi (Rahim), who is captured by the U.S. government and languishing in Guantanamo Bay detention camp without charge or trial. Losing all hope, Salahi finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (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 (Cumberbatch), eventually reveals a shocking and far reaching conspiracy.

The Mauritanian brings to light a true story of one Mo Salahi who unravels and is built up all throughout this wonderful film. The pain, the confusion, the hatred, the broken hope and the restoration and forgiveness that is woven in and around this drama is one to really sit with.

The film brings together a heart breaking story of truth and lies, of death and life, of despair and hope, and of good and evil. 

Yet it doesn’t have a villain. 

Not the justice system, not the guards at Gitmo, not the Christian attorney or even the Islamic people group as a whole. This film really shows you people. Hurting and lost people.

In some of the last words we hear from Mo at the ending of the film, he explains to the judge that in the Arabic language, the word for Freedom and Forgiveness is the same.

With this powerful line delivered with such heart and faith, it truly gives us a picture of what humanity, in such a time as this, really needs to look too.

We need to believe the best about each other, and to forgive so that we can find freedom in all our circumstances. The Mauritanian is a film of black and whites, and a large grey area, but plays on both sides of the line. It plays on your heart strings and asks you to see people, not just a movie.

4 out of 5 stars (Matthew Snider, G4E)

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