You can now read the screenplay for “The Mauritanian,” based on Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s 2015 memoir “Guantanamo Diary,” here.
The script, from M.B. Travern and Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani, was directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin MacDonald and stars Tahar Rahim as Slahi and Jodie Foster as Nancy Hollander, the attorney who took on his case. Both actors have been nominated for Golden Globe Awards for their performances. Also starring in the film are Shailene Woodley and Benedict Cumberbatch, who is also a producer on the film.
Slahi was held in Guantanamo for 14 years without ever being charged. Authorities acknowledge he was tortured during that time. Though his memoir was published in 2015 (with heavy redactions), he was not released until 2016.
In a Q&A for Variety’s Streaming Room, Macdonald spoke about how the film follows separate storylines – Mohamedou in prison, the defense attorneys fighting his case and Cumberbatch’s military prosecutor, Lt. Stuart Couch, who begins to question the case. Said Macdonald, “How do you take these disparate stories and weave them together in a way that is compelling … and where you don’t feel like these are three completely disconnected stories?”
In that same Q&A, the actors discussed the challenges of telling a true story and playing real people. Said Foster, “With Nancy, you do feel that responsibility to make sure that you honor not just who she is, but her mission.”
“The Mauritanian” is now in theaters in the U.S. and will be available on VOD on March 2.