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Oath [Import]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Osama bin Laden, Salim Hamdan, Abu Jandal, Troy Lebane
  • Directors: Laura Poitras
  • Producers: Laura Poitras, Jonathan Oppenheim, Aliza Kaplan, David Menschel, Jennifer Filippazzo
  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • Release Date: Sept. 28 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B003PTP5H6
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Product Description

''The Oath is a spectacularly gripping documentary that unfolds like a great political thriller. It
Genre: Documentary
Rating: NR
Release Date: 0000-00-00
Media Type: DVD

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x981e06b4) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x981373f0) out of 5 stars Bin Laden's Inner Circle Nov. 20 2012
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"The Oath" (2010 release; 90 min.) is a documentary that was bound to create debate, if not controversy, upon its release in the US in 2010 (it premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival), right? Actually, this fell pretty much on deaf ears and it was only when recently browsing the documentary section of my local library that I fell upon this. How could I have never heard of this movie before?

"The Oath" follows two men, Abu Jandal, a taxi driver in Yemen, and his brother-in-law Salim Hamdan, a Guantanamo Bay prisoner who is the first to await trial. As we later learn, Jandal was the primary bodyguard of Osama Bin Laden during 1996-2000, and Hamdan was Bin Laden's driver. They became brothers-in-law when Bin Laden 'selected' two sisters to marry them. But there is one huge difference between the two: Jandalhas taken the Al Qaueda oath and Hamdan has not. The documentary takes its time in building up the intrecate facts surrounding these two men. At one point I was about to turn it off when I heard Jandal give again one of his views, this time on tolerance ("When you accept the other as he is, then you are in agreement with his infidelity and lowliness"), but I decided to stick it ou and I'm glad I did. I'm not going to tell you why, as it would ruin your viewing experience, although I will venture to say that you will be surprised how it all turns out. The last 30 min. are just riveting.

Back to why this documentary has fallen on deaf ears: it's my personal belief that the US audience at large was not then, and is still not, in the mood for this type of compex and complicated tale of two truths. Take for example Guantanamo Bay, which plays a pivotal role in the documentary: it has been controversial for many years but despite Obama's pledge in the 2008 presidential campaign to close it, it remains open to this very day... This is not an easy documentary (and one can take that literally as well, as the manner in which the subtitles are presented make them pretty hard to read), but in the end, I would recommend this to anyone interested in learning about the complex post-9/11 challenges presented to the US and the world at large.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98137444) out of 5 stars They Worked for Bin Laden May 25 2011
By Cary B. Barad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Not a dramatic re-enactment, but a skillfully done and even-handed documentary with interviews focusing on the trials and tribulations of Osama Bin Laden's personal driver and ex-bodyguard. The former is shown living in Yemen and working as a self-employed taxi driver after attending a government anti-jihadist re-education program,. The latter is depicted as detained on shaky legal grounds at Guantanamo and fighting for his release.

Very interesting and rarely seen street scenes of Yemen. Also includes extensive interviews with the protagonists and their family members, as well as with legal and religious officials. This film was completed before Bin Laden was killed, which gives the viewer a unique perspective for interpreting its significance.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9813787c) out of 5 stars Poitras cuts through to the realities underpinning the occupation of Iraq/Afghanistan. July 2 2014
By Pete Thottam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Outstanding. Honest and we'll filmed from multiple vantage points.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98137864) out of 5 stars Very good and unique portrait of a complex man Oct. 13 2015
By J. Fordney - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Very good and unique portrait of a complex man. I do wish there had been more explanation of his relevance into the larger situation surrounding the 9/11 attacks. For someone who doesn't know much of the context, I believe it would be a bit of a dull viewing experience.
HASH(0x98137d20) out of 5 stars Excellent Look into the Life of One Jihadist Jan. 20 2016
By Karl Newton - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I have found this documentary very moving. This man was clearly closely allied with Osama Bin Laden at one point - enough so that the FBI travelled to Yemen to interrogate him in jail there after 9/11 attacks - and yet he is seen living freely in Sana'a, working as a self employed taxi driver in this film; and answering, fairly spontaneously, various challenging questions by the videographers and others, about his past and his current situation and outlook. The whole segment concerning his brother-in-law, held for years and ultimately tried and freed from Guantanamo, is very revealing about the complexity, and the potential for injustice in our "War on Terror". In the end, I would like to know that the main subject has an unencumbered means to support himself in his homeland. Heaven only knows what the impact of the present Saudi Arabian attacks on Yemen is for the lives we have seen in this film. But, this documentary has left me unable to be indifferent to them.

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