Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Winner of the Silver Bear at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival, The Road to Guantanamo, directed by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross, uses interviews, news footage, and reenactments to tell the story of the Tipton Three, young British men of Pakistani descent who were detained for over two years without charges at Guantanamo Bay by the American military. Shafiq (played by Riz Ahmed in the reenactments), Ruhel (Farhad Harun), Asif (Arfan Usman), and Monir (Waqar Siddiqui) traveled to Pakistan to take part in Asif's wedding to a Pakistani girl. Once in Pakistan, they hooked up with Zahid (Shahid Iqbal), Shafiq's cousin, and they all met in Karachi. There, they attended a mosque, where the imam urged worshipers to help those in need in Afghanistan, and where an inexpensive bus trip over the border was organized. Out of a sense of charity, or perhaps a naïve lust for adventure, the young men decided to travel to Afghanistan. The American bombing campaign begins shortly after they arrive. While trying to get back over the border, they find themselves in the Taliban stronghold of Konduz, where they are captured by the Northern Alliance during the Taliban surrender. At this point, Monir is separated from the group, and they never see him again. Shafiq, Ruhel, and Asif are brought to Sheberghan prison, where they are detained under miserable conditions, until the Americans discover that they are British. At that point, their journey to Guantanamo begins. Asif Iqbal, Ruhel Ahmed, and Shafiq Rasul describe their ordeal at the hands of American and British intelligence, who were determined to get them to confess their nonexistent links to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, while the brutal scenes are reenacted onscreen. The Road to Guantanamo was shown at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.
Afghanistan, mosque, Pakistani [nationality], Taliban, torture, British