In Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, Tom Hanks plays a lawyer tasked with defending a man accused of being an enemy of the United States. In The Mauritanian, it’s Jodie Foster‘s turn to do the same thing – but her client is actually innocent. The film tells the true story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim), who was detained at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp for 14 years without being charged. Shailene Woodley (Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars) co-stars as Foster’s character’s assistant, while Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Doctor Strange) is doing another one of his unnerving accents. Check out the latest The Mauritanian trailer below.
The Mauritanian Trailer
M.B. Traven and Rory Haines & Sohrab Noshirvani wrote the screenplay based on Slahi’s memoir, and Kevin Macdonald, who previously directed Touching the Void, The Last King of Scotland, State of Play, and the Life in a Day movies, was in the director’s chair for this one.
This looks like a harrowing movie that might work well as a double feature with Scott Z. Burns political thriller The Report, and it looks like a real showcase for Foster (who hasn’t acted much over the past decade) and for Tahar Rahim, who broke out with a widely praised performance in the 2009 film A Prophet. It sounds like Rahim, in particular, took this role incredibly seriously. In a recent interview, he told us “the only way I found to make it authentic was to put myself in realistic conditions to experience what Mohamedou has been through. So yes, I asked the props to bring their real shackles. I wanted them to turn the cell as cold as possible. It wasn’t cold enough, so I asked them to spray me with water, so I could feel the cold, I got waterboarded and force-fed for real…I needed to go further and further and further, to a point that Kevin came to me and was like “all right, stop,” because my ankles were bleeding, I was exhausted, I was very thin, I had no energy at all.”
Here is the movie’s official synopsis:
Directed by Kevin Macdonald and based on the NY Times best-selling memoir “Guantánamo Diary” by Mohamedou Ould Slahi. This is the inspiring true story of Slahi’s fight for freedom after being detained and imprisoned without charge by the U.S. Government for years. Alone and afraid, Slahi (Tahar Rahim) finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley) who battle the U.S. Government in a fight for justice that tests their commitment to the law and their client at every turn. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by a formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), uncovers shocking truths and ultimately proves that the human spirit cannot be locked up.
The Mauritanian is currently playing in theaters and comes to VOD on March 2, 2021.
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