Women + Film: The Oath

Women + Film: The Oath

USA, 2010, 90 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Political, Social Issues
Language: Arabic English Sub-Titles

Director Laura Poitras In-Person
film will be followed by a Q&A and reception

Digital presentation - From the director of the Oscar-nominated My Country, My Country, The Oath is a spectacularly gripping documentary that unspools like a great political thriller. It’s the cross-cut tale of two men whose fateful meeting propelled them on divergent courses with Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo Bay Prison and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Abu Jandal is a taxi driver in Sana’a, Yemen; his brother-in-law Salim Hamdan is a Guantanamo prisoner and the first man to face the controversial military tribunals. Jandal and Hamdan’s intertwined personal trajectories—how they became bin Laden’s bodyguard and driver respectively—act as prisms that serve to explore and contextualize a world which has confounded Western media. As Hamdan’s trial progresses, his military lawyers challenge fundamental flaws in the court system. The charismatic Jandal dialogues with his young son, Muslim students and journalists, and chillingly unveils the complex evolution of his belief system post-9/11. Winner of Best Documentary Cinematography at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, The Oath offers a rare window into a hidden realm—and the international impact of the U.S. War on Terror.


About LAURA POITRAS (Director | Producer | Cinematographer)
Laura Poitras was nominated for an Oscar, an Independent Spirit Award, and an Emmy Award for MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY (2006), a documentary about the U.S. occupation of Iraq. MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY was co-produced with ITVS, released theatrically by Zeitgeist Films, and broadcast on P.O.V./PBS. She received a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Emmy and an Independent Spirit Award for FLAG WARS (2003; made with Linda Goode Bryant), a documentary about gentrification that premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and won the award for Best Documentary.
Following MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY, THE OATH is Poitras’ second documentary in a trilogy titled THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY about America post 9/11. The final film will focus on the 9/11 trials. She is currently working on THE GUANTANAMO PROJECT, a multi-media project to collect documents and artifacts from Guantanamo Bay Prison. Before making documentaries, she worked as a professional chef. She lives in New York City.

Presented by:

DIRECTOR: Laura Poitras
US Distributor: Zeitgeist Films

Official Film Website

Also by this director

  • The Oath

    The Oath

    USA , 2010 , 90 min. Digital presentation - From the director of the Oscar-nominated My Country, My Country, The Oath is a spectacularly gripping documentary that unspools like a great political thriller. It’s the cross-cut tale of two men whose fateful meeting propelled them on divergent courses with Al-Qaeda, O... more
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