Just now up on Vanity Fair‘s Web site is this comprehensive article penned by Michael Tucker, co-director of the SXSW 2007 documentary The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair. In the essay, Tucker reveals what inspired him to make the project following his acclaimed Iraqi war documentary, Gunner Palace, and what surprises developed after he thought the film was complete. See the film, as well co-directors Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, at SXSW 2007. From the Vanity Fair article:
I’m not one to believe in fate, but there was something oddly synchronous about the timing of Benjamin Thompson’s e-mail. Yes, I had made a film, released in 2005, in which an Iraqi man named Yunis is shown being captured by U.S. troops. In fact, I had just spent the better part of the year editing Yunis’s life story for a second film, called The Prisoner, which I’ve completed for its theatrical premiere, in March.
But what Thompson could not have known was that as much as he was looking for me, I was looking for him. In extensive interviews for the movie, Yunis had spoken of a soldier named Thompson and his extraordinary compassion during his ordeal. And now, three years to the day after Yunis’s arrest, in Baghdad, I find myself driving to Thompson’s home, in Columbus, Ohio, a world away from Iraq, but not nearly as far as I had thought.