The Oath tells the story of Abu Jandal (Osama bin Laden's former bodyguard), and Salim Hamdan, Bin Laden's former driver and the first Guantánamo Bay prisoner to face trial under controversial U.S. military tribunals. Though thoroughly reflective of the highly charged political atmosphere inhabited by its subjects, the film is essentially a family drama about two men whose fateful encounter in 1996 set them on a journey that would lead to Osama bin Laden, 9/11, the Guantánamo Bay detention center and the U.S. Supreme Court.
In an era where news-by-soundbite rules, The Oath affords a rare glimpse into the lives of people who, to many, are no more than names in headlines. As an outreach tool, the film humanizes compelling questions about ideology, war and the prisons — both physical and spiritual — that they create.
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