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Rendition

DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 17.28 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description

Gyllenhaal/Witherspoon/Sarsgaard ~ Rendition

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Guilty by circumstance March 23 2008
By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAME TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This well acted drama is a wakeup call to the horrors of the alleged practice of "extraordinary rendition", where persons suspected of being involved in terrorist activities are apprehended and sent to another country to be interrogated (translate: tortured)

Based upon one cell phone record and an Islamic name, chemical engineer Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally) is removed from a flight from South Africa to Washington D.C. and sent to an interrogation centre, where he is questioned, beaten and abused for proclaiming his innocence.

The movie uses flashbacks and lots of switching between characters to illustrate the chain reaction that results, and how it affects not only El-Ibrahimi, but also his wife (Reese Witherspoon), his family, an observing CIA analyst (Jake Gyllenhaal), and even his torturer, Abasi Fawal.

In a gripping sub-plot, Fawal's daughter secretly becomes romantically involved with a young man, not knowing that his brother had perished at the hands of her father.

Chilling at times, and maddening at others, especially when Meryl Streep's character gets involved, this movie is about the suffering of the innocent as a result of the sins of a minority. Food for thought, even though it may be a bit too bitter for some tastes.

Amanda Richards
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hypocrisy of the Policy of Rendition Feb. 9 2011
By Moodywoody TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This is an effective film in conveying its message of the immorality of the policy of Rendition that came about after 911. The film describes how the CIA sent an Egyptian national with a green card in the US to a North African nation to be tortured in order to garner information on a terrorist network. The film does not adequately explain the evidence of the phone records that got this person the attention of the CIA, and this is irrelevant to the principle conveyed by the film. The film is also effective in showing how tenuous and unreliable, in any event, information obtained through torture is, since people will admit and say anything to avoid further torture.

The concept of officially rejecting torture, yet using vassals to do it for you is hypocritical, immoral, and illegal. The film tries to show in an effective dramatic fashion the dangers of a democratic society determining it licit to covertly arrest and deport an individual without due process of law. In fairness, the film does not offer any enlightenment on how effective counter-terrorism should be done, but it nevertheless puts a human face on the violation of human rights perpetrated on not only the innocent, but even on the guilty in respect to the use of torture.

The only problem with the film, however, is in its heavy handed way of making its point. Too often it comes across as a propaganda film against rendition, and as a consequence the story is too black and white. The film would have been more balanced if it had presented a case with more evidence against the accused, to the point where the audience was not sure of the guilt or innocence of the accused, rather than portray a rendition on the flimsiest of evidence. The film wanted to present American government villains in the most black and white way.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually and politically stunning July 15 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
During the G.W. Bush years, there were several schlocky movies drawing on various aspects of the so-called 'war on terror.' This film is not one of them. *Rendition* should be required viewing for at least two groups: Canadians who couldn't be bothered to get worked up about the Maher Arar case, and Americans who support Obama's decision to 'move on' and forget about holding the Bush administration accountable for its egregious crimes. It's about what the US (along with its vassal-state allies, including Canada) is prepared to do to a lot of innocent people -- and the billions of taxpayer dollars it's prepared to spend on it -- rather than simply changing its foreign policy or, better yet, getting out of the empire business altogether. The 'war on terror' almost completely de-legitimized the United Nations, and there is no longer even a pretense of lawfulness among Western nations. Watching this film made me realize just how deeply inadequate Obama's beautiful Cairo speech (June '09) was with respect to healing the wounds perpetrated by Orientalism and Islamophobia. *Rendition* stands with *Syriana* and *The Valley of Elah* as the most valuable films about the dark years of the Bush regime.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars À voir pour que l'on connaisse cette réalité... March 14 2008
Format:DVD
Un très bon film sur les abus de pouvoirs que commettent beaucoup trop souvent les pays supposément civilisés... Au nom de qui, de quoi réellement ces décisions sont-elles prises et de quel droit surtout peut on prendre de tel risque avec une personne qui pourrait être innocente...

Imaginez un homme car il a reçu un téléphone d'un homme dont il ne connait pas, peu être arrêté, torturé et détenu illégalement le tout sans aucune forme de procès, bien sûr on ne vérifie pas les preuves, après tout elles sont de l'intérieur ces preuves et donc nécessairement fiables... Ne parlons même pas de dignité humaine avec cela, dans de tel trou à rat il n'y a bien guère que ces bêtes pour y être bien...

Un film surprenant donc, intense et qui m'a plutôt embarquer... difficile de voir tout venir les aboutissants du scénario, quelques détails reste bien flou jusqu'à la finale... franchement c'est bien monté et cela rend l'aventure encore plus immersive déjà que le sujet est très accaparant c'est donc une belle réalisation !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  165 reviews
65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A serious film about a serious topic that will make you cringe Sept. 19 2008
By Linda Linguvic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This 2007 film is scary. That's because the theme is about the practice of interrogating suspected terrorists in a foreign country where laws against torture do not apply. This practice is called rendition and this film makes it real. It's hard to watch.

The film opens in an American middle class suburb. Reese Witherspoon is playing with her small son when they get a phone call from her husband, Omar Metwally, an Egyptian citizen who has lived in America for 20 years. He tells his wife and son he is on the way home from a business trip and they plan on meeting him at the airport. All seems well.

When he gets off the plane, however, he is detained at the airport and questioned. He is a chemical engineer and the questioners are asking questions about a terrorist bomb plot. He denies everything. He seems clean but Meryl Streep, playing a high powered Washington decision maker, orders him to be put into rendition and he is whisked away to an unnamed middle eastern country and his name erased from the plane's passenger log while his wife and son wait patiently at the airport for a husband and father who has disappeared.

The scene now shifts to an unnamed middle eastern country where Yagal Noor, an Israeli actor of Jewish Iraqi descent, is cast in the role of the interrogator. Jake Gyllenhaal is cast as an American diplomat, who has just lost a co-worker in a suicide bombing, and has been promoted to assist Yagal Noor with the questioning. It is awful. I am cringing now just writing about it as scenes of waterboarding and electric shock torture are shown in detail. There is also a subplot about the interrogator's daughter and a suicide bomber which expands the story.

In the meantime Reese Witherspoon is trying desperately to find her husband. She seeks out an old boyfriend, played by Peter Sarsgaard who works for a senator, played by Alan Arkin. Even when they confront Meryl Streep, there is a blank wall of silence. Jake Gyllenhaal, however, is beginning to have a change of heart as the torturing goes on.

This is a serious film about a serious topic. It will make you cringe and it will also make you think. I give it a high recommendation but it is not recommended for the faint of heart.
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Guilty by circumstance March 5 2008
By Amanda Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This well acted drama is a wakeup call to the horrors of the alleged practice of "extraordinary rendition", where persons suspected of being involved in terrorist activities are apprehended and sent to another country to be interrogated (translate: tortured)

Based upon one cell phone record and an Islamic name, chemical engineer Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally) is removed from a flight from South Africa to Washington D.C. and sent to an interrogation centre, where he is questioned, beaten and abused for proclaiming his innocence.

The movie uses flashbacks and lots of switching between characters to illustrate the chain reaction that results, and how it affects not only El-Ibrahimi, but also his wife (Reese Witherspoon), his family, an observing CIA analyst (Jake Gyllenhaal), and even his torturer, Abasi Fawal.

In a gripping sub-plot, Fawal's daughter secretly becomes romantically involved with a young man, not knowing that his brother had perished at the hands of her father.

Chilling at times, and maddening at others, especially when Meryl Streep's character gets involved, this movie is about the suffering of the innocent as a result of the sins of a minority. Food for thought, even though it may be a bit too bitter for some tastes.

Amanda Richards, March 5, 2008
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Get A Lot For Your Money Here June 9 2008
By R. Schultz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
There's a lot on this DVD, almost all of it interesting and informative.

The movie itself is a dramatization of a composite case in which a traveler with a Middle Eastern name and heritage gets flagged as having possible terrorist ties, is waylaid by US/coalition authorities, and is sent to an "undisclosed location" where he is subjected to brutal bouts of questioning and torture. All this happens because of what might have been a simple cell phone mix-up.

However, to the movie's credit, while making a moving humanitarian appeal against such treatment, it does not foreclose on the possibility that this traveler might have some al-Qaida ties. The movie also tries to give at least some weight to our State Department's arguments for the necessity of extracting information by any means. Meryl Streep makes the Government case with chilling pragmatic efficiency.

So this movie does recognize some of the complexities involved. It is not a simplistic good guys vs. bad guys screed. This becomes especially true as it interweaves the story of two young Middle Eastern lovers caught up in the inflamed politics of their fundamentalist culture.

Then this DVD contains what is tantamount to a whole second feature film - this one a documentary outlining the cases of two men who actually were tortured at such top-secret compounds located in out-of-the-way places around the globe. These undisclosed locations actually exist and are the receiving points for suspects detained under the Rendition Act.

Neither of the two men interviewed here are Americans. The testimony of the German National from a Middle Eastern background is especially poignant. He talks about how his life was derailed by the torture he endured after he was taken, hooded and humiliated, to one of these sites - on the flimsiest evidence of any terrorist involvement.

Finally, the DVD comes with a particularly intelligent Director's commentary. It will be worth your while to watch the features again, with this commentary turned on. In the end, Director Hood calls his project "a poetic lament." There's probably no better way to sum up the complex, compelling tragedies brought home by this DVD.
33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely and intelligent political thriller Nov. 5 2007
By Karen Franklin - Published on Amazon.com
RENDITION has it all: Superb direction (by the masterful Gavin Hood of "Crash" fame); a great cast (Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Omar Metwally); a riveting and harrowing plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat; even an interesting twist at the end (which I won't give away) that had us all discussing the movie for an hour afterwards. And if all of that isn't enough, this is an extremely timely topic. Our government's participation in torturing people at secret prisons around the world is something that all American citizens should be discussing and debating. Unfortunately, this engaging thriller is not getting the audience it deserves. The fact that "Saw IV," a warped glorification of brutality, has earned four times as much at the box office as Rendition suggests that for many Americans, out of sight is out of mind and escapism is the name of the game.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars even better than Elah March 11 2008
By J. W. Hickey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
After all the hype about its poor box office receipts, I was wary about a serious political film starring LEGALLY BLONDE's Reese Witherspoon, or another sensationalist "rendition" of what American movies make of torture.

But the script is particularly intricate and intelligent, with a wonderful twist. Sorry it didn't catch fire for the amazon reviewer, but the restraint with which this film treats the subject is responsible and works well.

Especially since--despite the director's political position--the script does harken back to the early years of LAW AND ORDER, when the strongest arguments of all sides of an issue were voiced.
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