5 Jahre, a film about five years of hell in Guantanamo
In his debut feature, 5 Jahre ("5 Years"), director-screenwriter Stefan Schaller (who co-wrote the children’s film Hands Off Mississippi [+see also:
film profile] with Maggie Peren) has chosen to recount the awful experience of Turkish-German national Murat Kurnaz, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2001 then detained and subjected to unimaginable torture at Guantanamo over five years. Shooting on the film started last week (September 27) and will continue until mid-December between Bremen (Kurnaz’s hometown), Babelsberg Studios and Berlin.
The screenplay, written by Schaller based on Kurnaz’s account published in 2007, Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man In Guantanamo, received the Thomas Strittmatter Prize from the MFG Baden-Württemberg regional fund.
The film tells of how Murat (played by Sascha Alexander Gersak), who worked in a nightclub and was involved in drug dealing, decided to change his life and turn to religious faith after his friend died in a violent brawl. It looks at how, on his way to a Koranic school in Pakistan, he was arrested, handed over to the US authorities and sent to their terrible detention camp in Cuba. There, over five years, despite the constant physical abuse, he didn’t give up and continued to maintain his innocence.
5 Jahre is produced by teamWorx Produktion. It will be released in cinemas next year.
(Translated from French)
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