Abu Jandal from The Oath. Credit: Khalid Al Mahdi

“An extraordinary subject… a fascinating documentary.”
The Oath airs August 16, 2011 on POV.

Fascinating, engaging, compelling.

Top critics have weighed in on Laura Poitras‘ Sundance Film Festival and Gotham Award-winning documentary The Oath, which airs tonight (Tuesday, August 16, 2011) on many PBS stations.

Filmed in Yemen and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, The Oath interweaves the stories of Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard, and Salim Hamdan, a prisoner at Guantánamo facing war crimes charges. The film unfolds via a narrative rife with plot reversals and betrayals that ultimately leads to Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantánamo and the U.S. Supreme Court.</p

David Denby of the New Yorker calls The Oath “a fascinating documentary” and says, “Poitras’s movie digs deep; it hints at the violently conflicting drives that an intelligent human being may be liable to.”

Mike Hale of the New York Times likens The Oath to the films of Errol Morris and says the film “has staying power.”

“Just how deep inside Jandal’s world Poitras goes is all the more striking given the inherent cultural barriers and danger she faced as a female filmmaker shooting a former Al Qaeda operative in Yemen,” says Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times.

POV presents an encore broadcast of this powerful and timely documentary tonight (Tuesday, August 16, 2011) on many PBS stations. Check your local listings.

POV’s 24th season continues Tuesday nights through September 27, concluding with a special broadcast on November 10. Keep up with the films at http://pbs.org/pov, on Twitter @povdocs or on Facebook.

Published by

Alva French is a freelance multimedia journalist and was a POV Digital intern in Summer 2011. She has been blogging on French and Francophone music, politics and culture since 2007 and is an aspiring documentary filmmaker. Alva is currently an M.A. candidate in International Reporting at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.