Screening: Guantanamo’s Child + Q&A
This screening will be followed by a panel discussion with director Michelle Shephard and others.
Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who was captured by American forces in Afghanistan in 2002 and spent a decade imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, tells his own story in this documentary portrait from directors Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard.
In prison Khadr struggled to endure the inhumane conditions and the demoralising improbability of release. In the outside world, public outcry mounted as the US and Canadian governments refused to take action. It took the relentless work of Dennis Edney, Khadr’s lawyer of over a decade, to advance the case. Finally repatriated to Canada in 2012, and released in May of this year, Khadr then faces the Harper government’s attempt to overturn his bail.
Featuring unprecedented access to former fellow inmates, family members, and government officials, Guantanamo’s Child acquaints us with an incredibly resilient young person who grew up in a tragic setting and analyses the political implications of his case.
Investigating a life that has sparked some of the most heated political debates in recent history, filmmakers Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard reveal a young man who is cautiously ready for another chapter of his life. And for the first time, Omar Khadr himself tells us his side of the story.
Directed by: Michelle Shephard and Patrick Reed
Produced by: Peter Raymont, Michelle Shephard, Patrick Reed
White Pine Pictures
Discussion to be moderated by Richard Gizbert, presenter of Al Jazeera English’s The Listening Post, a weekly show that looks at news coverage by the world’s media. Gizbert has also spent 25 years working in the media world as a foreign correspondent, covering stories around the world.
Moazzam Begg is one of nine British citizens who were held at Camp X-Ray, Guantánamo Bay by the US government. He was released on January 25 2005 without charge. He is the director of outreach for advocacy group CAGE and author of Enemy Combatant. This year he was imprisoned by the British government on charges relating to Syria, his case was later dropped.
Michelle Shephard is an investigative reporter with the Toronto Star, author and filmmaker. With patrick Reed she co-directed Guantanamo’s Child, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015. Shephard has been awarded the Michener Award for public service journalism and won Canada’s top newspaper prize, the National Newspaper Award, three times. In 2011, she was an associate producer on the Oscar-nominated documentary Under Fire: Journalists in Combat. She produced the National Film Board documentary, “Prisoners of the Absurd,” which premiered at Amsterdam’s film festival in 2014.
Cori Crider heads the Abuses in Counter-Terrorism team at international NGO Reprieve. A U.S. lawyer, Cori has spent a decade investigating and litigating the most serious violations of the ‘war on terror’: Guantánamo, CIA rendition and torture, and civilian deaths from drone attacks in undeclared war zones.
She devised Reprieve’s challenge to abusive force-feeding at Guantánamo, which resulted in the first disclosure of videotapes of the process. She also developed Reprieve’s project investigating the drone war in Yemen: her team exposed key details of a drone strike on a wedding convoy, and brought a Yemeni man whose innocent relatives died in an attack to Washington, D.C. She represents two Libyan families whom U.S. and British intelligence ‘rendered’ to the dungeons of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Cori regularly gives print and broadcast interviews on counter-terror abuses and has written for the Guardian, CNN, al Jazeera, and the Huffington Post.