Bin Laden's ex-driver in the spotlight at Sundance
Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's one-time driver who spent seven years locked up at Guantanamo, is in the spotlight once again, this time in a documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.world Updated: Jan 27, 2010 14:24 IST
Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's one-time driver who spent seven years locked up at Guantanamo, is in the spotlight once again, this time in a documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.
The second part of Laura Poitras's trilogy on post-September 11, 2001 America, "The Oath" is competing for a prize at the independent cinema showcase nestled in the mountains of Utah through Sunday.
Her first piece in the series, "My Country, My Country" (2006) earned Poitras an Academy Award nomination.
"As a filmmaker, it makes me nervous to release this film because I know how it can be seen in different ways," she said in an interview.
"But I knew it from the beginning. It is so politically incorrect to make a movie about terrorism."
The film follows the daily routines of Hamdan, who was set free in Yemen in January after nearly two months at a political security prison following his release from Guantanamo Bay, and Abu Jandal, Hamdan's brother-in-law and a former bodyguard of Al-Qaeda chief bin Laden.
Abu Jandal, who Poitras describes as "quite brilliant and very charismatic," now drives a cab in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.
Questioned at length by the US authorities after 9/11, he takes an uncanny pleasure in blowing hot and cold, defending "holy war" and anti-Western sentiment in one breath while condemning attacks by militants in the next.