Mohamedou Ould Salahi fights for freedom after being detained and imprisoned without charge by the U.S. Government for years.
Nothing is more bold and disturbing than real life as we see in “The Mauritanian.” If you’ve seen “The Report,” starring Adam Driver depicting a cover up of the torture that was authorized by the American government, this new film discovers and uncovers one particular man, a victim, of this approach to gaining information from “our enemies.”
Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) finds herself providing pro bono work for America’s number one enemy: the man who helped Osama Bin Laden. Captured at his home, Salahi is jailed in one extreme location to another until he lands in Cuba as an American prisoner. Hollander attempts to provide him his due process in spite of what the world sees this man as. Her endeavor proves to be much more arduous and enlightening that she predicted as we enter his world and hers, discovering the ugly truth that is deeply buried.
This is a riveting and infuriating tale that keeps the viewer guessing until the heartbreaking end. Foster and co-star Shailene Woodley as assistant Teri Duncan personify the legal counsel with skill as Benedict Cumberbatch (Stuart Couch) gives us an stalwart performance as the prosecuting counselor. As the legal battle ensues, the true emotion comes from Salahi’s experiences and perceptions. Tahar Rahim becomes Salahi, taking us on his journey and into his mindset each and every step of the way. What was once just a fleeting headline becomes human and the need for humanity and compassion rises to the top.
Needless to say, this is intricately involved story with more tentacles touching upon more stories. Screenwriter Michael Bronner never loses sight of his focal point, Salahir’s story, but gains the evocative angle by gently remembering to touch upon these elements of Salahir’s life. “The Mauratanian” is an intense thriller reminding us of the devastating results when we lose sight of humanitarianism.