The film CAMP X-RAY had me in tears – a very rare thing, all but impossible when I’m in film-analysing mode. But Kristen Stewart‘s green eyes – in her role as Guantanamo guard Private Cole – and Payman Moadi‘s brown ones – in his role as Guantanamo detainee Ali – were so full of fear, hate, understanding respect, and even love, that my Amygdala simply gave out. Yes, I cried, as I was sitting there in Grand cinema, at Stockholms Filmfestival, taking notes. Not when they took Ali out of his normal life without so much as a warning, the smoking towers of 9/11 still on his TV-screen. Not when they delivered him, brutally beaten and disfigured, to a dog cage in Guantanamo Bay prison. Not when Kristen Stewart’s MP Cole in her first line explaines dryly, that in fact the “detainees” weren’t called “prisoners”, so as not to break the Geneva convention. Not even when Ali literally flung his shit at her or when her superior officer tried to rape her.
No, I cried when one of those magical Harry Potter moments happened, when those two adversaries started to understand and respect each other and showed for once how fragile they were behind their iron façades. Ali says at a certain point: “We are at war.” And all through the end credits the guards still circled, and circled, and circled the cages with the “detainees”. But Ali, yes, Ali had finally gotten a chance to find out, how a supposedly bad guy could turn out to be the good guy after all. No spoilers. Watch for yourself. And bring some handkerchiefs.
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