OATH

V' 10

THE OATH

Laura Poitras
USA/Jemen, 2010
Documentaries, 96min, OmeU

THE OATH

Laura Poitras
USA/Jemen, 2010
Documentaries, 96min, OmeU

Screenplay: 
Laura Poitras
Sound: 
Laura Poitras
Camera: 
Laura Poitras
Kirsten Johnson
Editor: 
Laura Poitras
Jonathan Oppenheim
Composer: 
Osvaldo Golijov

Production: 
Praxis Films The Independent Television Service (ITVS) POV/American Documentary Inc.
World Sales: 
Cat&Docs
Format: 
HD
Color

“You have to understand people in order to recruit them.” This is what Abu Jandal, former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden, says to a group of Yemeni teenagers who he meets regularly to talk about his jihadist past. Abu Jandal broke the oath he had sworn as a member of al-Qaida and renounced his unconditional obedience to its leadership. The film creates a portrait of this man and the dramatic, incredible path he has taken on his way to becoming one of the Arab world’s most influential critics of the Islamic terror network. At the same time, the story of Salim Hamdan unfolds, Bin Laden’s former driver who was imprisoned at Guantánamo for several years. After his release as a result of the controversial Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld legal proceedings, Hamdan refused to make any sort of statement to the media. Laura Poitras doesn’t just provide a spectacular view of the innerworkings of the al-Qaida leadership, she herself also delivers a strong political statement. (Dorothee Wenner)