First US Film Festival Date: “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” Screens at the D.C. Independent Film Festival, March 5

By Andy Worthington 

Guantanamo

I’m delighted to report that, on March 5, 2011, at 3 pm (venue to be announced), the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (which I co-directed with filmmaker Polly Nash) will be shown at the D.C. Independent Film Festival, which runs from March 3 to 13 at various venues in the D.C. area. Although the film was released 18 months ago, this is its first screening as part of a US film festival.

The timing could not be more appropriate, as, despite promising to close Guantánamo within a year, President Obama spectacularly failed to do so, and is now presiding over a prison that may never close, as either the administration itself, or Congress or one particular branch of the judiciary (the D.C. Circuit Court in Washington D.C.) has made sure that it is almost impossible for any of the 172 prisoners currently held at Guantánamo to be released, even if, as with 89 of them, they were approved for release by a special interagency Task Force convened by the President.

When I first took “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” to the US, in November 2009, only the most dedicated activists — and Guantánamo lawyers — were interested. At that time, many people still believed that Obama had waved a magic wand and had made everything better, but 15 months later the scales have fallen from people’s eyes, and it is apparent that Obama has been a miserable failure on anything to do with national security, and has fundamentally failed to dismantle most of the “War on Terror” apparatus set up by the Bush administration or to hold anyone to account for torture and other crimes.

It is also abundantly clear that the Republican party has become an increasingly deranged negative campaigning momster, eschewing all proposals for bi-partisan cooperation, playing on the Democrats’ traditional spinelessness, and swinging further to the right than ever before, and that one of its victims has been the closure of Guantánamo.

Sadly, I won’t be able to attend the screening on March 5, although Polly will be flying out for it, and for the Q&A session that follows the screening, which will also be attended by Tom Wilner, who is also featured in the film. Tom is one of the lawyers for the Kuwaitis at Guantánamo, and was Counsel of Record for the prisoners in the Supreme Court cases that granted them habeas corpus rights in 2004 and 2008, and I was delighted that, last month, he was able to take part in a panel discussion about Guantánamo in Washington D.C. that I had organized on the 9th anniversary of the prison’s opening. Also attending is Debra Sweet, the national director of the campaigning group The World Can’t Wait, who is a stauch supporter of my work, and has been involved in raising funds for my three most recent trips to the US — in November 2009, October 2010 and January 2011.

Reviews of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”

“‘Outside the Law’ is a powerful film that has helped ensure that Guantánamo and the men unlawfully held there have not been forgotten.”
Kate Allen, Director, Amnesty International UK

“[T]his is a strong movie examining the imprisonment and subsequent torture of those falsely accused of anti-American conspiracy.”
Joe Burnham, Time Out

For further information, interviews, or to inquire about broadcasting, distributing or showing “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Also see this dedicated page for the UK tour, which will be updated as new dates are added, and please watch the video clip on this sitew for the first five minutes of the film:

Main Torture First US Film Festival Date: “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” Screens at the D.C. Independent Film Festival, March 5

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.