Festival year: 2014
Murat Kurnaz was arrested in Pakistan in 2001. He was handed over to the US authorities and then detained at Guantánamo for over five years. Despite unimaginable torture, Kurnaz always maintained his innocence. Based on a true story.
Turkish-German Murat Kurnaz was held in American detention camps in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay from 2001 to 2006. He was 19 when, as a fresh convert to Islam, he undertook a pilgrimage to Pakistan and was promptly arrested on suspicion of terrorism. The film is based on true events and tells his story: how he was tortured and interrogated continuously and mercilessly in Guantánamo Bay.
The film concentrates on the harsh struggle between Kurnaz and his American interrogator Gail Holford, who tries to win his trust in order to get him to confess, while the physical and psychological torture goes on. It takes enormous willpower for Kurnaz to maintain his innocence under the pressure. Stefan Schaller chooses to seldom show explicit violence. He lets the imagination of the viewer do the work, making the horror of Kurnaz’s detention even more penetrating.
Germany 2013, 95 min.
Spoken language: German, English, Arabic
Official website: http://www.5jahreleben.de
TeamWorx Television & Film