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THE MAURITANIAN

"Intense, Slow Tale of Injustice, with Many Obscenities"

Content: -2 Discretion advised for adults.
Production:
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

What You Need To Know:

THE MAURITANIAN is a drama about a terrorist case. In November 2001, Mohamedou Slahi, a former al-Qaeda member, enjoys a relative’s wedding in Mauritania, in the northwestern part of Africa. Government officials ask Slahi to submit to questions about al-Qaeda and its September 11 attack on America. They and the FBI question Slahi for seven days. Then, he’s unexpectedly imprisoned in Jordan, then Guantanamo Bay for more questions. Eventually, an American lawyer takes Slahi’s case. However, it takes years to find any proof supporting Slahi’s claims he was beaten and sexually abused to elicit a fake confession.

THE MAURITANIAN tells an engrossing, well-acted, emotional story about injustice, but the pace is a bit slow. It presents a convincing case that Slahi had no connection to 9/11 or any other terrorist attacks before that. The movie shows the prosecutor leaves the case because of the forced confession, but it doesn’t mention that he still believes Slahi has blood on his hands somewhere. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for this problem, too much strong foul language, and intense scenes of beating, sexual abuse and water boarding.

Content:

(BB, PP, C, FR, RHRH, LLL, VV, S, N, A, D, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral worldview about seeking justice and finding truth, American ideals of justice are strongly affirmed, the prosecutor of a case is moved to change his mind and make a right decision when he attends a Christian baptism service, and an Islamic terror suspect who seems innocent and kind is shown praying two or more times while being held in prison for an unjustly long time, but there’s some apparent or possible revisionist history that leaves out minor points that cast doubt on whether the title character is truly totally innocent

Foul Language:
41 obscenities (more than half are “f” words) and one GD profanity

Violence:
Some intense scenes of beating (prisoner is physically hit and kicked), water boarding, sexual abuse, noise abuse, sleep deprivation, being forced to stand in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time, etc.

Sex:
Woman in a cat mask is shown sexually taunting/humiliating a disoriented prisoner and straddling him in an implied rape scene

Nudity:
Some shirtless boys play soccer in a flashback, and woman appears in a bra while taunting and straddling a disoriented prisoner

Alcohol Use:
Some brief alcohol use

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Some smoking, and man uses chewing tobacco, but no drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Interrogators allegedly threaten to arrest prisoner’s mother and subject her to rape in prison, man’s allegedly subjected to other threats, man caught leaving out some important information to his defense attorney, government stalls both the prosecutor and the defense lawyer in a case, and the government’s treatment of a suspect sometimes seems to be unjust and goes too far.

More Detail:

THE MAURITANIAN is a drama that argues for the innocence of one of the “high-valued” Islamic terrorist suspects at the Guantanamo Bay prison, who was allegedly beaten and sexually abused to wrest a fake confession from him but was eventually released after being held for 15 years. THE MAURITANIAN tells an engrossing, well-acted, emotional story about injustice, but the pace is a little slow, the movie neglects to mention minor points that cast slight doubt on whether the prisoner was totally innocent, and there’s too much foul language and some intense scenes of beatings and sexual abuse.

In November 2001, Mohamedou Slahi, a young former al-Qaeda soldier in 1990s Afghanistan, is enjoying a relative’s wedding in his home country of Mauritania, located in the northwestern part of Africa. Some government officials ask Slahi to come in for questioning about al-Qaeda and its September 11 attack on America. Slahi thinks he has nothing to hide, even though his cousin was a former spiritual advisor to Bin Laden, the mastermind of 9/11, before the cousin had a falling out with Bin Laden over the planned attack and reportedly left the terrorist group after Bin Laden went through with the attack.

After being questioned by his government and the FBI for seven days, Slahi is unexpectedly sent to a prison in Jordan, then to the Guantanamo Bay prison, for more questioning. Eventually, an American lawyer becomes interested in Slahi’s case. However, it takes a long time to find any proof to support Slahi’s claims that he was beaten, sexually abused and water boarded to wrest a fake confession from him.

THE MAURITANIAN tells an engrossing, well-acted, emotional story about injustice, but the pace is a slow and drawn out. The movie presents a convincing case that Slahi himself had left al-Qaeda and had no connections to 9/11 or any other terrorist attacks before that. The movie shows the prosecutor leaving the case because of the forced confession, but it neglects to mention that the prosecutor still believes that Slahi has blood on his hands somewhere. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for this problem, for too much strong foul language, and for some intense scenes of beating, sexual abuse, physical and psychological abuse, and water boarding.