Open City: New London Film Festival Screening of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” UCL, June 19, 2011


“‘Outside the Law’ is a powerful film that has helped ensure that Guantánamo and the men unlawfully held there have not been forgotten.”
Kate Allen, Director, Amnesty International UK

“[T]his is a strong movie examining the imprisonment and subsequent torture of those falsely accused of anti-American conspiracy.”
Joe Burnham, Time Out

“Every American needs to watch this film. Or at least every mouthpiece in the corporate media. They should broadcast this instead of the WWII Holocaust documentaries, which play on rotation on the cable networks.”
Alexa O’Brien, journalist, WL Central

As featured on Democracy Now!, ABC News and Truthout. Buy the DVD here (£10 + £2 postage in the UK, and worldwide) or here if in the US ($10 post free).

On Sunday June 19, as part of the Open City London Documentary Festival, described at its launch as “London’s newest film festival,” there will be a screening of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington), at 1.40 pm on Sunday June 19 in the AV Hill Lecture Theatre in UCL. Tickets for all the screenings cost £5, and readers can book a ticket for “Outside the Law” here, or by phone on 020 7679 4907.

The festival, which runs from June 16 to June 19, features over 170 full-length feature films and shorts, showing in various lecture theatres in UCL (plus some outside collaborations). The main address of UCL (University College London) is Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, and please see here for a campus map.

The screening of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” is part of a weekend of events put together by Dochouse, an organization based at Riverside Studios, in Hammersmith, which was formed to support and promote documentary in the UK, and, since 2002, has been showcasing the best documentary films from around the globe, with screenings and events in cinemas across London. In November 2009, Dochouse screened “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo” with “Gitmo: The New Rules of War” at the Prince Charles Cinema in London’s West End.

Now, as part of “Open City,” and under the heading, “Exposing Guantánamo,” Dochouse is screening four films that focus on Guantánamo, as follows:

Saturday June 18, 7.20 pm: The Road to Guantánamo (Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross, 2006, 100 mins.)
Screen 4, Medawar Building, UCL.

The award-winning docudrama that first brought the injustices of Guantánamo to a wide audience tells the story of three British prisoners, the “Tipton Three,” through interviews and harrowing, dramatic recreations of their experiences in US custody. This is the film that, with Moazzam Begg’s book Enemy Combatant, changed my life back in the spring of 2006 and encouraged me to believe that it was worthwhile researching and writing a book — The Guantánamo Files — that attempted to tell the stories of all the prisoners in Guantánamo.
Book a ticket here, or phone 020 7679 4907, and see map here.

Sunday June 19, 10.20 am: Gitmo: The New Rules of War (Erik Gandini and Tarik Saleh, 2005, 80 mins.)
Screen 1, Festival Hub, Engineering Building, Torrington Place, UCL.

An early exploration of Guantánamo, in which the filmmakers searched for the meaning of Guantánamo after taking part in a press visit to the prison, in a narrative that spliced their own explorations with footage of George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden and Donald Rumsfeld.
Book a ticket here, or phone 020 7679 4907, and see map here.

Sunday June 19, 1.40 pm: Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo (Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, 2009, 75 mins.)
AV Hill Lecture Theatre, South Junction, Malet Place, UCL.

“Outside the Law” focuses on the stories of three British prisoners — Shaker Aamer (who is still held, and is the subject of an ongoing campaign to secure his return) and Omar Deghayes and Binyam Mohamed (both released). The film looks at how the Bush administration turned its back on domestic and international laws after 9/11, and examines how prisoners were rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan without adequate screening, and why some of these men may have been in Afghanistan or Pakistan for reasons unconnected with militancy or terrorism. The film provides a powerful rebuke to those who believe that Guantánamo holds “the worst of the worst” and that the Bush administration was justified in responding to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by holding men neither as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor as criminal suspects with habeas corpus rights, but as “illegal enemy combatants” with no rights whatsoever.
Book a ticket here, or phone 020 7679 4907, and see map here.

Sunday June 19, 3.40 pm: You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantánamo (Luc Cote and Patricio Hernandez, 2010, 100 mins.)
Darwin Theatre, Malet Place, UCL.

This powerful new film features excerpts from seven hours of video footage of Canadian agents interrogating child prisoner and Canadian citizen Omar Khadr at Guantánamo over a four-day period in 2003. It reveals how his joy at meeting representatives of his own government turned to despair when he realized that they had not come to Guantánamo to help him, and important commentary on the footage is provided by Khadr’s US and Canadian lawyers, by journalist Michelle Shephard, by former US guard Damien Corsetti, and by former prisoners, including Omar Deghayes and Moazzam Begg. The footage was released by the Canadian courts after a ruling that Khadr’s rights had been violated, which was subsequently ignored by the Canadian government. In October 2010, Khadr accepted a plea deal in his trial by Military Commission at Guantánamo.
Book a ticket here, or phone 020 7679 4907, and see map here.

This final screening is followed, at 5.20 pm, by a panel discussion with Brent Mickum, the US lawyer for Guantánamo prisoners Shaker Aamer and Abu Zubaydah, and with Andy Worthington and Polly Nash, plus, subject to confirmation, Mat Whitecross and former Guantanamo prisoner Omar Deghayes.

This is how Dochouse describes “Exposing Guantánamo”:

How do you represent the inaccessible? Four films that use very different styles to address the continuing outrage that is Guantánamo. Guantánamo is the great open sore of western democracy — and one that, to our shame, still needs to be exposed to the fresh air of journalistic investigation and examination.

For further information about the film, for interviews, or to inquire about broadcasting, distributing or showing “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” please contact Polly Nash or Andy Worthington, and see a trailer for the film below, via Journeyman Pictures, where, for a small fee, you can watch the film online:

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in June 2011, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, on tour in the UK throughout 2011, and available on DVD here — or here for the US), my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

11 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Zena Kayat wrote:

    Oh i definitely dig it.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    AniTa Hernan wrote:

    Me too 😉 !!

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Zena and AniTa — and everyone who has shared it. I hope some of you are in London, and that I’ll see you on the 19th!

  4. Anna says...

    Wish I could be there!
    Forwarded info to Polish lawyers, in case they happen to be in London that day. Hope films and particularly the panel discussion attract crowds!
    So sorry for Londoners, but I wish a chilly London fog for that day, to curb any temptation to go for a picknick instead :-).

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Ha! Thanks, Anna. There’s more screening news to be announced early next week — definitely one for the diary of anyone in London!

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Ann Alexander wrote:

    Too late for me, Andy. I arrive on 20th.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    AniTa Hernan wrote:

    Andy…I wish i could be there! Though i am originallly from Warwickshire, i now am living in Mexico.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Zena Kayat wrote:

    I too wish i could be part of ths though i cant. all the best Andy, im wth u too.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks again, AniTa and Zena.
    And Ann, does that mean you’ll be around for the House of Commons screening on the 21st? I’ll be posting details this week …

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Ann Alexander wrote:

    House of Commons screening sounds unmissable, Andy. Waiting for the details….

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Coming soon, Ann …

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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