The Mauritanian: Deeply Uncomfortable, But Needed Viewing

Written by Luke Barnes

The Mauritanian is a drama film directed by Kevin MacDonald. The film serves as an adaption of the Guantanamo Diaries by Mohamedou Ould Salahi, with the plot recounting the experiences of Salahi as he was detained by the United States Government, without a charge, for 16 years in Guantanamo Bay.

This is a powerful film. Tahar Rahim’s central performance is simply magnificent; it is no wonder that it is receiving so much awards attention. Rahim plays the character in a very human way, and that is fundamental to the film. We see the torture he endures, and it makes for very uncomfortable viewing but also very needed viewing, as it causes us to rethink our society and see where we are going wrong.

Jodie Foster has a supporting turn as Salahi’s Lawyer who spends the film fighting for his release and gives almost as good a performance as Rahim, but not quite. Foster commands the screen and makes for some very memorable scenes. The acting across the board in this film is great.

My one complaint of this film is that it is a little overly long, about 80% of this film is vital and is must watch, however there are a few scenes that run too long, or could have done with being cut out to make the film tighter.

Overall, a magnificent film that makes you rethink the world and that proves Rahim as a name to watch out for on the big screen for years to come.

Pros

Rahim

Foster

Showing the torture and doing it in an impactful way that provokes a strong response#

Recontextualising history

Cons.

A few pacing issues

4.5/5

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