We’re all feeling a little trapped these days, to say the least, but imagine being held against your will for 15 years without any real reason. That’s what happens in a new Jodie Foster drama. Alex Miranda, who is stuck with us whether he likes it or not, has the story.
This is a real-life story of a man who put up with years of torture by the U.S. government, only to be released over 14 years later without much credible evidence. Jodie told me we could learn from this man’s attitude.
Guantanamo Bay is at the center of a new 9/11 drama, “The Mauritanian.”
Tahar Rahim, Jodie Foster, Shailene Woodley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the real-life story of a lawyer who faced obstacles and judgment for representing Gitmo detainee Mohamedou Slahi, who had been held for six years without a charge or trial.
Jodie Foster: “[My character has] defended all of these guilty people, but she really grew to care about him, and really believed that he was innocent and knew that he was innocent over time.”
The U.S. government alleged Mohamedou was a part of al-Qaida, but with questionable evidence at best, and hadn’t finally released him for almost 15 years.
Tahar Rahim: “He managed, in a way, to turn anger into forgiveness and to put himself in the shoes of his capturers. You know, when he was tortured, he would tell his capturers, ‘Why do you do this to yourself?’”
He’s been called the most tortured person in Guantanamo history, so you won’t believe this next part of the story.
Alex Miranda: “He has said he has forgiven all the people who have done him wrong.”
Jodie Foster: “He became friends with his guards, and they watched a lot of movies together, and they played games, and they talked to each other, and he really wanted to know about them. That’s how he learned English.”
Tahar Rahim is nominated for a 2021 Golden Globe award for this outstanding performance, but he was all fanboy on the set over Jodie Foster.
Tahar Rahim: “I was a bit intimidated, and I came in the reading like this. I was kind of scared, and the way she is, the way she behaved, relaxed me.”
Jodie says there’s a lot to take away from this story.
Jodie: “He became a better human instead of a lesser human — forgiving, funny, lovely, full of joy — and we have a lot to learn from him.”
You can catch “The Mauritanian” in theaters starting Thursday.
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