Film Review: ‘Four Days Inside Guantánamo’


Four Days Inside Guantánamo (2010) is a breathtaking documentary from directors Luc Côté and Patricio Henriquez that retells the heart-wrenching story of the injustice suffered by Canadian citizen Omar Khadr, who in 2002 – at the age of 15 – was captured by US forces in Afghanistan and imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay as an enemy combatant.

The documentary focuses on four days of harrowing interviews conducted by the Canadian Intelligence Service. Divided into four sections, the viewer is shown the vile tactics used by the intelligence service, clearly willing to have done anything for the answers they wanted. The use of actual declassified footage alongside interviews from Khadr’s former cellmates, lawyers, and politicians, all make for captivating – if highly upsetting – viewing.

Most repulsive are the interviews with Damien Corsetti (AKA ‘The King of Torture’), who provides an insight into the monstrous acts both he and the US forces have committed during ‘The War on Terror’. There are also many scenes showing, not only the conditions inmates of Guantánamo and Bagram suffered, but also photos of the results of physical and mental torture.

Perhaps the most gut-wrenching and emotive moment is during the second day of interviews, when Khadr has realised that the interrogators are not there to help him; in this moment he breaks down, crying out repeatedly for his mother.

Four Days Inside Guantánamo may make for upsetting viewing, yet Côté and Henriquez have expertly handled the hugely emotive subject matter. The film permeates with the sense of injustice felt by the inmates and filmmakers, along with their passion to highlight Khadr’s situation to a wider audiences.

Joe Walsh