David M. Halbfinger, The New York Times

Easily one of the most damning new films, though, is "The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair," by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, which had its origin in a haunting moment from the couple's successful 2004 documentary about the Iraq conflict, "Gunner Palace."

In that film, one handcuffed Iraqi man, pulled from his home in a nighttime raid, says to soldiers and to the camera, repeatedly, that he is a journalist, not a terrorist -- and then is hauled off into the dark. The new movie tells the man's story.

He is Yunis Khatayer Abbas, he was tortured by Uday Hussein for writing about an embargo of Iraq, and he is indeed a journalist. As portrayed in the documentary, faulty American intelligence, perhaps based on his freelance camera work for British television, leads to suspicions that he has plotted to kill Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mr. Abbas winds up spending nine months in confinement at Abu Ghraib and other detention centers, subjected to American interrogation techniques, before being released with a base commander's simple "Sorry."

The filmmakers report that the Army now says that it has no records on file of Mr. Abbas's stretch in detention. But he exists, and he faces the camera to tell of inedible food, of old men dying for lack of the medicine they had taken for years, of young men dying in prison riots and on and on. With nothing else to write on, Mr. Abbas recorded the deaths of other prisoners in ink on his white undershorts, and smuggled them out.

Mr. Moore, who attended Friday's screening of the movie, said afterward, "It's humiliating to know that this is being done in your name."

But a more significant response to the screening came from Benjamin Thompson, an Army reservist, now deactivated, who knew Mr. Abbas because he was a prison guard when Mr. Abbas was a prisoner. While Mr. Tucker said that Mr. Abbas had often been dismissed as a fabricator, Mr. Thompson, who came forward a few weeks ago, confirmed and elaborated on Mr. Abbas's description of the prison camp. He said that it was also under frequent attack by insurgents, that there was no sanitation for long stretches, and that many suffered malnutrition.

"I wouldn't have kept my dogs in that condition," said Mr. Thompson, who said he was now a student but would not say where.


© Nomados Film 2007, All Rights Reserved  |  powered by MT  |  design by cubus