First US Film Festival Date: “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” Screens at the D.C. Independent Film Festival, Washington D.C., March 5, 2011


I’m delighted to report that, on March 5, 2011, at 3 pm (at Letelier Theater, 3251 Prospect Street NW, Upper Courtyard, Washington D.C. 20007), the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (which I co-directed with filmmaker Polly Nash) will be shown at the D.C. Independent Film Festival, which runs from March 3 to 13 at various venues in the D.C. area. Although the film was released 18 months ago, this is its first screening as part of a US film festival.

The timing could not be more appropriate, as, despite promising to close Guantánamo within a year, President Obama spectacularly failed to do so, and is now presiding over a prison that may never close, as either the administration itself, or Congress or one particular branch of the judiciary (the D.C. Circuit Court in Washington D.C.) has made sure that it is almost impossible for any of the 172 prisoners currently held at Guantánamo to be released, even if, as with 89 of them, they were approved for release by a special interagency Task Force convened by the President.

When I first took “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” to the US, in November 2009, only the most dedicated activists — and Guantánamo lawyers — were interested. At that time, many people still believed that Obama had waved a magic wand and had made everything better, but 15 months later the scales have fallen from people’s eyes, and it is apparent that Obama has been a miserable failure on anything to do with national security, and has fundamentally failed to dismantle most of the “War on Terror” apparatus set up by the Bush administration or to hold anyone to account for torture and other crimes. It is also abundantly clear that the Republican party has become an increasingly deranged negative campaigning momster, eschewing all proposals for bi-partisan cooperation, playing on the Democrats’ traditional spinelessness, and swinging further to the right than ever before, and that one of its victims has been the closure of Guantánamo.

Sadly, I won’t be able to attend the screening on March 5, although Polly will be flying out for it, and for the Q&A session that follows the screening, which will also be attended by Tom Wilner, who is also featured in the film. Tom is one of the lawyers for the Kuwaitis at Guantánamo, and was Counsel of Record for the prisoners in the Supreme Court cases that granted them habeas corpus rights in 2004 and 2008, and I was delighted that, last month, he was able to take part in a panel discussion about Guantánamo in Washington D.C. that I had organized on the 9th anniversary of the prison’s opening. Also attending is Debra Sweet, the national director of the campaigning group The World Can’t Wait, who is a stauch supporter of my work, and has been involved in raising funds for my three most recent trips to the US — in November 2009, October 2010 and January 2011.

Here are the full details of the screening:

Saturday March 5, 3 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Polly Nash, Tom Wilner and Debra Sweet.
D.C. Independent Film Festival, Letelier Theater, 3251 Prospect Street NW, Upper Courtyard, Washington D.C. 20007.

This screening is part of the D.C. Independent Film Festival. Tickets ($10/$7 for students and seniors) can be booked here (scroll down — the films are listed alphabetically). Co-director Polly Nash is traveling from the UK to attend the screening and the post-screening Q&A session, and will be joined by Tom Wilner, attorney for the Kuwaiti prisoners at Guantánamo, and Counsel of Record for the prisoners in the Supreme Court habeas corpus cases in 2004 and 2008, and Debra Sweet, national director of the campaigning group The World Can’t Wait.

Reviews of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”

“‘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

For further information, interviews, or to inquire about broadcasting, distributing or showing “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” please contact Polly Nash or Andy Worthington. Also see this dedicated page for the UK tour, which will be updated as new dates are added. Below, on YouTube, you can watch the first five minutes of the film via Orchard Pictures, from whom you can also pay to watch the whole film online. You can also pay to watch it online, for just £1, via Journeyman Pictures.

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 and Twitter). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in July 2010, 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), 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.

19 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Kimberly Bell wrote:

    Thanks for the posting & update

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Iman El-Maghribi wrote:


  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Gabriele Müller wrote:

    sharing & spreading

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Carol Anne Grayson wrote:


  5. Tweets that mention First US Film Festival Date: “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” Screens at the D.C. Independent Film Festival, Washington D.C., March 5, 2011 | Andy Worthington -- says...

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andy Worthington, Susan Hall. Susan Hall said: First US Film Festival Date: “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” Screens at the D.C. Indepe.. […]

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Ann Alexander wrote:

    Pity you can’t attend, Andy but it is good to know that Tom Wilner will be there to answer any questions. And it is such an achievement to have your film shown at the DC Independent Film Festival. Have you considered a screening at this years Edinburgh Festival? I am sure Sal could advise you on this, Andy.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Willy Bach wrote:

    It should get some sort of recognition as a documentary, it is well done and it is about something that should be regarded as important.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Ann Alexander wrote:

    I agree Willy. Channel 4 should have snapped it up.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, everyone, and Ann, if you want to put me in touch with Sal re: Edinburgh, it would be worth a go.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Ann Alexander wrote:

    For sure Andy.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Carol Anne Grayson wrote:

    Have you tried Tyneside Cinema (Newcastle)… they are an indie cinema…. they showed Blind Flight for us (Medical Foundation for Care of Victims of Torture, Newcastle) and John Furse, director gave a talk as I was host for the evening… they are pretty good…

    In fact maybe you could contact Med Foundation and do something in conjunction with them… I know the Newcastle Director quite well… Alan Brice…if interested I could have a word…

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Please do, Carol. I did a screening in Oxford a few months ago that was a fundraiser for the Medical Foundation.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Lori Wallace wrote:

    Shared, and thank you for the update.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Willy Bach wrote:

    Andy, warmest best wishes for this screening, it will mean a lot and could be very influential. Why not invite GW Bush and Julian Assange? You’ll pack the place out and it will be in all the papers.

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Ghaliyaa Haq ‎wrote:

    Willy: ROTFLOL!!!! I like that! I wish I could be there though – seriously. I’m pretty much stuck in my little corner of the world. May as well be on the South Pole. 🙂

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Carol Anne Grayson wrote:

    Excellent… shared…all the best…

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Maria Allison wrote:

    Shared. My husband and I will be attending. Thanks for the info, Andy.

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Maria. I’m very glad to hear that you and your husband will be there.

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    Maria Allison wrote:

    Looking forward to it.

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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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