TIFF Canada’s Top Ten Review: Guantanamo Child: Omar Khadr (2015) ★★★★


There are both good and bad people in this world, just like a coin has two sides. The society follows what it’s being said on TV, without even having the ability to read between the lines. When you watch Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard’s documentary film called “GUANTANAMO CHILD: OMAR KHADR”, you will never realise the kind of poisoned world we live in. Believe it or not, but the story of Omar Khadr will certainly stun you, it may open your eyes to many things, broaden your horizon and give you an opportunity to make up your own mind.

When Omar Khadr was eight years old, naive, and a proud Canadian, his father decides to leave the country with many opportunities for Afghanistan. He decides to return to his land, to help people as a real caring citizen. Many years later, his father asks his son to become an interpreter for a group of people committing suspicious activities. Since his family already had connection wit Al Qaeda, whether Omar wants it or not, becomes a part of it. But what else can a young man could do, when he’s surrounded by people who are willing to do anything, whatever that reason maybe?

As the film progresses, Omar, already fifteen-year-old, “unintentionally” becomes part of a terrorist attack where an American soldier dies. Miraculously surviving, but critically wounded Omar finds himself in Guantanamo Bay prison for the terrorist attack and his direct connection with Al Qaeda. With no proper investigation, the interrogation of Omar Khadr begins using a special or newly invented technique that never worked on him. Despite how the government tried to make him talk, Omar said nothing because he had done nothing wrong.

But right from the beginning of the film you realize how difficult it’s going to be to follow his story. However, there is one man who believed in his innocence;  a man, that stood by him for twelve years to rescue him from Guantanamo Bay, his lawyer Dennis Edney, who was the only one who saw the real Omar Khadr, despite the government that tried to show him as a monster. While you watch the film, you get a chance to hear what Omar’s sister or mother had to say. But despite the cruel words they use, you start trusting Omar and believe that how strong this person was to be able to fight against the government, using the only ability he had: stubbornness.

Guantanamo Child: Omar Khadr is a breathtaking documentary film with the facts you all must learn. It’s the story of one man, who at a young age is sent to Guantanamo Bay and continuously tortured. However, despite living in the madness for a decade, he rises proud and strong showing that he is not what the government presumed him to be.


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