Film Reviews Cat

The Mauritanian (2021)


A story about Mohamedou Ould Slahi who was detained at Guantanamo Bay detention camp for many years without officially being charged.

I have many different questions and comments regarding this movie so let’s get started. My first question is a practical one; why would you want to tell the story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi again? Let me rephrase this a little; what is the benefit of sharing his story again after almost twenty years? I agree that it is important to keep the memory alive and remember what happened. However, why do I need to watch a 2H 9min movie for this? Is there a current political situation going on which is related to Guantanamo Bay detention camp? I can’t imagine that the director already knew what the current situation in Afghanistan would be like when he shot this movie. Anyway, the current situation in Afghanistan is not a reason to release a Guantanamo Bay detention camp related movie. Some people might tell you that it remains an interesting story, but in my opinion it is just really boring. The only reason why you would want to watch “The Mauritanian” is because of Jodie Foster. Otherwise I personally don’t see a reason to watch this movie. Unless you have never heard about the Guantanamo Bay detention camp before. And that might be exactly the reason why some people should watch it. I can imagine that younger generations never heard about this specific topic. Therefore, for them it will be useful, or rather, for their teachers in school. Indeed, I think that this is an educational movie for sixteen year olds and not a proper movie because it lacks almost everything that you would describe as a movie. The main point would be that the story is just the autobiography of Mohamedou Ould Slahi himself. If I was a teacher and would have to teach a bunch of lazy teens about 9/11 then I would show them this movie so that they don’t have to read the actual book. PS:No, I am not saying that all teens are lazy. However, if you would have to teach people that don’t like to read then this movie could be used as source material (kind of…).   

If you are still interested in watching this movie for noneducational reasons then I can tell you that you will be extremely bored because of the setting, acting, and the predictable storyline. Because most of the scenes take place within a confined room with the lawyers and guards. However, the first few scenes are very interesting and almost dreamlike. So it is not all bad, but the vast majority of this film does consist of cliché interrogation scenes which we all have seen way too many times before. Just to be clear, I am not saying that a movie based on reality is not a movie. However, this movie clearly lacks creativity after the first few scenes to the extent that it seems merely a visual description of the actual autobiography. I totally missed the rising action, and a good plot structure. Yes, there is a beginning, middle , and end. However, everything is predictable (for most of us), filled with clichés, and visually not appealing. It is weird to see Jodie Foster suddenly appear in such a movie/biography. 

Additionally, there are other people who question the validity of Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s story, but I think we can all agree that you can’t detain people for a longer period of time (or any amount of time) without officially charging the person. Therefore, this entire story might fall in some kind of grey area which would be problematic on a detailed level. However, the overall message of this movie, which is human rights, is definitely positive.  

Directed by 

Kevin Macdonald

Writing Credits  

Michael Bronner(screenplay by) (as M.B. Traven) and
Rory Haines(screenplay by) &
Sohrab Noshirvani(screenplay by)
Michael Bronner(screen story by) (as M.B. Traven)
Mohamedou Ould Slahi(based upon the book “Guantánamo Diary” by)
Larry Siems(based upon the book “Guantánamo Diary” edited by)


Tahar RahimMohamedou Ould Slahi
Nouhe Hamady BariMohamedou’s Niece
Saadna HamoudGroom at Wedding
Mohamed Yeslem MousseWedding Guest
Mohamed Abderrahmane AravaWedding Guest
Aly DeydeWedding Guest
El Hocine AbaWedding Guest (as El Hacen Aba)
Baya BelalMohamedou’s Mother
Baba MineDeddahi
Lemrabott Zeine SidamarPoliceman
Yenje AbdellahiPoliceman
Jodie FosterNancy Hollander
Shailene WoodleyTeri Duncan

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