Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr – Director – Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard

I really wanted to see this one since I have been outraged by the treatment of Khadr by the Harperites. They like to use him totally for propaganda purposes and paint him as an evil, murdering terrorist. However the worst case one can make against this guy is that at age 15 as the only survivor of a fire fight against US Special Forces, with all his companions dead around him and severely wounded he may (and no one can really prove he did) have thrown a grenade in self defence. It was a battle, he was a child caught up in a situation he did not fully understand and certainly couldn’t control. To accuse him of murder as the US wishes to do is simply absurd. Harper however has done all in his power to crush this person who has been in some of the world’s worst prisons since age 15. Thanks to Dennis Edney his lawyer who has devoted his life to defending Khadr the boy who is now nearly 30 has been free on bail for the last few months. This film tells the story including moving interviews with one of the men who tortured him, a retired Special Forces soldier who was in the fire fight and with Khadr’s family. The best material however are the interviews with Khadr himself. While in prison even here in Canada Harper denied the media access to Khadr clearly fearing that humanizing this person would undercut their propaganda campaign. Edney got him free however and the chance came to introduce him to Canadians and the world.

The film is a strong indictment of our pathetic government and Stephen Harper in particular. We were lucky to have the Director, Dennis Edney and his wife who have allowed Khadr to share their home while he is free on bail and Michelle Shepherd, the Toronto Star journalist who has been following this story for the last 12 years. It was a very good Q and A – one of the best I have attended. I am not sure when the film will come out for general release but there is a shorter version done for a CBC broadcast in May of this year and you can watch it here: http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/omar-khadr-out-of-the-shadows. It’s just over 45 minutes but well worth the investment of time.

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