Powerful and moving with excellent performances from Kristen Stewart and Peyman Moaadi, Camp X-Ray puts a human face on the detainees of Guantanamo Bay.
Director Peter Sattler’s Guantanamo Bay set film is a microscopic examination of morality and the effects of captivity on captive and captor. Sattler’s methodical style of shooting is wonderfully effective in making Guantanamo feel soulless, oppressive and alien. Both lead actors excel; Kristen Stewart is restrained and relatable while Peyman Moaadi’s powerhouse performance is the beating heart of the film. A startlingly effective score underpins the drama, particularly in the stunning opening sequence. While it suffers from sporadic instances of clumsy dialogue and one particularly cliché character, Moaadi and Stewart’s central relationship resonates. Camp X-Ray is an indictment on the existence of Guantanamo Bay, but it also touches upon themes of systematic morality, sexism and ultimately, humanism. Sattler leaves the audience firmly on the hook as the credits roll, emphasising that while his story has ended, the inhumanity of Guantanamo endures.
Camp X-Ray is showing on Oct 9th, 10th & 17th at the 58th BFI London Film Festival