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David Oyelowo Talks Race Play & Other Complexities In Torture During War Drama ‘Complicit’

David Oyelowo Talks Race Play & Other Complexities In Torture During War Drama 'Complicit'

David Oyelowo’s MI5/Guantanamo Bay thriller Complicit, which centers on the moral dilemmas posed by the war on terror, as an MI5 agent (played by Oyelowo) becomes involved in the torture of a suspected terrorist to prevent an attack in the UK, aired on Channel 4 (in the UK) last night, Sunday February 17th at 9pm.

Needless to say, I didn’t watch it, because I live in the USA, not the UK. Although I did inquire about the possibility of the film being broadcast on American TV, and the exact response I got, verbatim, was: “Hopefully soon… we’ll let you know.

It was previously stated that, after the film’s premiere in the UK, a worldwide theatrical release would follow; so many of us not in the UK might actually get to see it in a theatrical setting, assuming those plans are still in play. Thus far, I haven’t read or received anything that states those plans have changed.

Let’s hope it happens and soon. Although I won’t be surprised if it’s already online somewhere – albeit illegally.

The full synopsis for the drama reads:

In fighting the War on Terror is torture ever justified? David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Red Tail, The Help) stars in a compelling new single drama from acclaimed writer Guy Hibbert (Blood and Oil, Five Minutes of Heaven, Omagh) that explores the murky moral compromises that underpin the hidden intelligence war. Complicit follows the story of Edward (Oyelowo) an MI5 officer who, desperate to foil another 7/7 style atrocity, wrestles with his own conscience and moral code when he finally comes face to face with British terror suspect Waleed (Arsher Ali – Four Lions, Beaver Falls). Convinced that Waleed is plotting an attack, Edward tears up the rule book and makes an irrevocable decision. Informed by extensive research, Hibbert’s film is a penetrating insight into the dangerous world of MI5 and counter terrorism.

In the 8-minute long video interview below, Oyelowo, as well as key cast and crew, talk about the project, including some of the racial aspects of it – apparently, the role wasn’t written for a black man, but the producers decided to make the lead character a black man, seemingly to introduce a new layer of complexity to the story, and interaction between characters.

Also, scattered within the interviews, you’ll find clips from the film.


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