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Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr is a deeply sympathetic examination of Khadr, the Canadian who became a household name after the killing of a U.S. soldier in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan – when Khadr was 15. (White Pine Pictures)
Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr is a deeply sympathetic examination of Khadr, the Canadian who became a household name after the killing of a U.S. soldier in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan – when Khadr was 15. (White Pine Pictures)

review

Guantanamo’s Child: Film builds context into the Omar Khadr headlines Add to ...

  • Directed by Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard
  • Classification 14A
  • Year 2015
  • Country Canada
  • Language English

For viewers with minds made up about Omar Khadr, who see him as a terrorist who should be locked away, this documentary may make for uncomfortable viewing. Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr is a deeply sympathetic examination of Khadr, the Canadian who became a household name after the killing of a U.S. soldier in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan – when Khadr was 15.

'He is very transformational': TIFF doc director on Omar Khadr (The Globe and Mail)

The film builds context into the familiar headlines – including some disturbing details (some beautiful ones, too). Born in Toronto, Khadr was eight when he left for Pakistan with his family; they later moved to Afghanistan. After his capture by U.S. forces, Khadr was sent to Guantanamo Bay, where he endured “enhanced interrogation techniques.” (One of his former U.S. interrogators expresses remorse in the film.) Still, Khadr comes across as impossibly – almost unbelievably – positive.

But the true hero of this tale is Dennis Edney – Khadr’s father-figure Edmonton lawyer, who fights for Khadr’s freedom while keeping the prisoner’s spirits up with descriptions of the Canadian landscape and the outings they’ll take upon his release. “I have a fishing rod for you,” he promises.

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