The Road to Guantanamo is a thoroughly engrossing, sufficiently cathartic, but frustratingly one-sided indictment of the American military's appalling treatment of foreign "enemy combatants".  Michael Winterbottom (coming off Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, which might have been inexcusably silly if it hadn't been unbelievably dull), co-directed with longtime collaborator Mat Whitecross, and the two combine documentary-style interview footage with haunting, disturbing, and surprisingly beautiful reenactments, to tell the story of the Tipton Three -- three British-born Muslims mistaken for Taliban and imprisoned at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for over two years. Winterbottom, the renowned directorial chameleon whose other art house oddity of 2005 was the concert film/episodic porn 9 Songs, proves once again that if anyone is better at polarizing an audience, nobody does it with more style. He's got a potentially stunning piece of propaganda on his hands here -- it's just too bad he hasn't made a better film.

categories Cinematical