The Prisoner Or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Prisoner Or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair Reviews

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½ January 30, 2011
George W. made a speech on Iraqi radio that he was going to help them. Yunis, an Iraqi journalist shares his experiences when he was captured and sent to Abu Ghraib for 9 months. An American soldier also describes living conditions of Camp Ganci. The terror described is comparable to that of Nazi concentration camps. The Geneva Conventions banned interrogation camps after WWII for a reason. "I don't care if we're holding 15,000 innocent civilians. We're winning the war."
Comment attributed to Maj Gen Wodjakowski
July 3, 2010
I want to say this is a great movie, but two things are stopping me: the sound design and the direction. The direction, the lesser of the evils, is understandable but early on it is sort of bonkers. A lot of the decisions seem unnecessary. Why write the supposed significant phrases on the screen? If we really can't here what he's saying, maybe they should have thought of sub-titles...It gets better after a while, it's less obviously intrusive into the interviews and I do fully get and agree with the animation. It works and it's a good way of doing it. But in the first few parts its all more frenetic and unnecessary. The bigger issue is the sound mix. It's terrible. It's one of the worst mixed DVDs I have ever heard and worse there are no subtitles. Once you get used to the protagonist's accent it becomes more bearable, but still they drown him out in noise and music regularly. This is too bad because the story is very compelling (the more so for the guy filming himself and his family, just like Capturing the Friedmans) and finding the guard was a coup as well. This could be a classic documentary about arbitrary and wrongful imprisonment, but they really should have thought a little more about the design of the film, and maybe they should have watched the master DVD before they greenlighted it, you know?
January 8, 2010
Didn't get to watch all at once, which kinda ruined it for me. I was pretty into it the first sitting though until I had to stop.
½ January 7, 2010
Another fine example of American Intelligence.
March 4, 2009
After seeing a plethora of Iraq documentaries that all seem to reiterate the same information in different ways (not that that's a bad thing because all that information still needs to get out there in any way possible), I found this to be a nice change of pace, focusing instead on the story of one individual to sort of allegorically explain the absurdity of the whole occupation. It sort of reminded me of a segment that might turn up on This American Life; it's literate, subtly humorous, sometimes quite morbid, and decidedly human. Yunis seems like a really decent guy and it's a shame that he had to experience such atrocities as a result of whatever bullshit reasons they took him (whether it be the fact that he is a journalist or the fact that they really did think he was planning on killing tony blair, most likely the former).
February 16, 2009
An excellent documentary about an Iraqi man wrongly accused of plotting to kill Tony Blair. The US army now denies he ever existed and still says that there were never any innocent men released from Abu Ghraib
August 3, 2008
Informative, but dull.
½ July 28, 2008
Very dry documentary. Style over substance is what the film makers must have been thinking when they made this. Too bad they couldn't make it a little bit more engrossing as well. Subject matter is interesting, but not enought to sustain a 72 minute running time.
½ July 5, 2008
I'm watching this on the weekend of July 4, Independence Day for us in the USA.

This is the story of how an Iraqi journalist was terrorized by the "freedom" of the USA occupation.

This is a deep-thought kind of documentary, parts of the film are "lightened" by comic-book style animation throughout. This comic-book technique leads credence to the idea that, in my opinion, the invasion of Iraq was completely a comical farce.
June 28, 2008
I thought this was a great documentary. Everyone should watch this.
May 20, 2008
Good subject and presentation but the audio was so bad. At times it would be really loud and then trail off when people were talking... got annoying quickly. Despite that, it was a good film.
April 21, 2008
As always, it is difficult to rate a documentary. This one's material was shocking and wonderful yet its presentation was lacking and distracting. With odd cartoon renditions of events that the camera missed and obvious, choppy editing, this movie was hard to watch. If you are looking to do a report on Abu Ghraib or on Iraqi prisoners' lives then this documentary is for you. If you are looking for a well played informative one, look else where.
April 17, 2008
This film uses chapter breaks and comic book-style illustrations to highlight the amusing, astonishing, and horrifying absurdity of its central tale: that of an Iraqi that was taken prisoner based upon false information.The treatment of the Iraqis as documented in this film brings shame upon all Americans as they allow those responsible to remain in office.
March 21, 2008
Would be pretty unbelievable if I hadn't already seen all those pictures from Abu Ghraib. Nonetheless, this doc, thru Yunis's story, puts it into some (often horrifying) perspective. At least Yunis's tale had a happier ending...
February 27, 2008
Sad, but good to know.
February 23, 2008
Heartbreaking at times. Confirms your worst fears about what went on in Iraq as the bombs fell.
February 19, 2008
I watched this movie awed by the composure of the subject relaying his horrifying experiences in Iraq before and during the war. Only once did the camera capture a break in his facade. His the only true story, set against the facade of a just war. That seeping question running through my veins asking how did we get here mutates into who have we become...and sadly, we can see the trails lead back upon themselves. This is no review, just the bleak reality this documentary underscored.
February 16, 2008
A ingenious montage of media, and a compelling reminder of our times of ubiquitous cameramen - embedded journalists, cell phone cameramen, home-video film-makers. Everyone's a cameramen and potential story-tellers.
February 11, 2008
Very interesting. Yunis was tortured first by Sadam's regime and then by the "liberators".
This documentery compliments "No end in sight" and "Control Room", both excellent documentaries on the operation Iraqi "Freedom".
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]"The Prisoner Or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair" is an eye-opening documentary about Iraqi journalist Yunis Khatayer Abbas who in the wee hours of September 23, 2003 was detained along with his three brothers by American troops on charges they were plotting to kill Tony Blair. On the videotape, he is clearly seen saying that he is a journalist(his work on the invasion and aftermath is also shown), so this should have been cleared up in no time at all, right?[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Nope.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]He was worked over and then imprisoned along with two of his brothers(a third is freed) at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison where heinous living conditions and inedible food were the rule of thumb, the infamous photographs being only the tip of the iceberg. After a few months of this, humane replacement soldiers made a bad situation somewhat bearable.(Along with some illustrated stills, the documentary is mostly Yunis telling his story to the camera. The only other person interviewed is a soldier from that replacement unit.) Under Saddam Hussein, Yunis was tortured in 1998. But as Miss Manners can tell you, it does not make a good impression when the new boss is not much better than the old boss. [/font]
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