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

  • Jan 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

    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

  • Jul 03, 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?

    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?

  • Jan 08, 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.

    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.

  • Jan 07, 2010

    Another fine example of American Intelligence.

    Another fine example of American Intelligence.

  • Mar 04, 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).

    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).

  • Feb 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

    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

  • Aug 03, 2008

    Informative, but dull.

    Informative, but dull.

  • Jul 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.

    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.

  • Jul 05, 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.

    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.

  • Jun 28, 2008

    I thought this was a great documentary. Everyone should watch this.

    I thought this was a great documentary. Everyone should watch this.