Camp X-Ray is the story of the “detainees” at Guantanamo Bay. As the film opens Ali (played by Peyman Moaadi), a Muslim, is praying. Almost immediately a black bag is forced onto his head and he is dragged away. So begins a very dark and unsettling movie.
The main story concerns Cole (played by Kristen Stewart), a young United States Army soldier fresh out of MP school. Hoping to go to Iraq to escape her tiny and miserable home town, she is instead sent to “Gitmo” (Guantanamo Bay) to guard the detainees. Since they are not prisoners of war (POWs), they are not subject to the treaties set forth by the Geneva Convention.
At first Cole is harassed and abused by the detainees. But as she settles into the boring, routine drudgery of her post, she slowly she develops an odd bond with Ali, although this is strictly against the rules. As it turns out, Ali is guilty of nothing, but must be kept at Gitmo as no other country will have him due to his detainee status.
It seems that no one at Gitmo is excluded from abuse. The guards abuse the detainees, the detainees abuse the guards. Those in command abuse their subordinates. This self-perpetuating cycle continues day in and day out without respite.
A thought provoking movie, Camp X-Ray explores one facet of the aftermath of terrorism on the modern, post 9/11 world. The movie doesn’t seem to take a stand one way or the other, leaving it up to the viewer what to think about a thoroughly untenable, indefensible situation.
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