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June 10, 2010

"The Response": a Guantanamo film and model prompt for deliberation

(Washington, DC) At today's Street Law board meeting, we watched "The Response," a movie that Sig Lobowitz wrote, based on the transcripts of real Guantanamo Bay military tribunals. The first part is a tribunal hearing, very skillfully acted using composite text from several real trials. The second part envisions the tribunal privately deliberating the case. That portion is based on interviews and other research, but not transcripts. I won't give away the end, because the plot is compelling, but it is cleverly contrived to make the audience deliberate.

"The Response" was shortlisted for the 2010 Academy Awards. Street Law is the "educational distributor" of the film and provides accompanying curricular materials, appropriate for high school, college, and law school.

I suppose a very strong critic or US policy might complain that the movie legitimates the US system because the military tribunal is depicted as genuinely wrestling with difficult issues. It is not a kangaroo court in the movie. The military lawyers are shown as serious and reflective people. On the other hand, all the major criticisms of the tribunal process--including its dependence on testimony obtained under torture--are fully and fairly aired.

June 10, 2010 7:43 PM | category: none



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