The documentary “Jihad Rehab”, despite its questionable title, has the kind of premise that is usually intuitive to indie film lovers. The film follows three men, each detained for 15 years at a US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, after being transferred to a “rehabilitation” facility in Saudi Arabia for former terrorism suspects.
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Eight months after the Sundance premiere of several Muslim and Arab filmmakers congratulating her documentary “Jihad Rehab” with accusations of Islamophobia, Meg Smacker told The New York Times that very few festivals screened her film. While he has struggled financially. promote it.
When you ask an allegedly reformed radical if they are interested in rejoining al-Qaeda, it’s not exactly the answer you want to hear, but it’s better than nothing. And at least he’s being honest.
The facility looks more like a junior college than a prison, and in between interviews our subjects take turns using colored pencils during art therapy, learning about this new thing called Google, or “interpersonal skills classes.” He is shown listening to a lecture about Freudian psychology.
Meg Smacker felt excited last November. After filming 16 months inside a Saudi rehabilitation center for accused terrorists, she learned that her documentary “Jihad Rehab” had been invited to the 2022 Sundance Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious showcases.
His documentary focused on four former Guantanamo detainees who were sent to a rehab center in Saudi Arabia, who were exposed to the youth’s attraction to al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Guantanamo detainees are released in Saudi Arabia in a year-long de-radicalization program with the ultimate goal of finding a job and starting a family.
But Smacker is on a different mission in his investigative film, whose existence often seems a miracle and an interrogative act of defiance.
While not seeking a clear answer as to what separates good from evil, “Jihad Rehab” is more interested in the cause of things, asking questions and exploring its discoveries through unprecedented access.