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‘The Mauritanian’ Trailer: Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Guantánamo Drama

Kevin Macdonald's upcoming legal drama boasts a starry cast and a topical premise.

"The Mauritanian"

“The Mauritanian”

Graham Bartholomew

Kevin Macdonald is setting his sights on the American justice system via “The Mauritanian,” the director’s upcoming legal drama that centers on a Guantánamo Bay detainee. Distributor STXfilms unveiled the trailer for the upcoming film on Tuesday.

Per STXfilms, the synopsis reads: Captured by the U.S. Government, Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim) languishes in prison for years without charge or trial. Losing all hope, Slahi finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley). Together they face countless obstacles in a desperate pursuit for justice. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), eventually reveals a shocking and far reaching conspiracy.

The film is slated to premiere in the United States on February 19, 2021. “The Mauritanian” is based on Mohamedou Ould Salahi 2015 “Guantánamo Diary” memoir, which centered on the author’s detainment in the detention camp from 2002 to 2016. Salahi was held without being charged for 14 years before being released. He was tortured during his captivity in Guantánamo Bay and became the detention camp’s first inmate to publish a memoir while in captivity.

“The Mauritanian” stars Foster, Rahim, Zachary Levi, Saamer Usmani, Woodley, and Cumberbatch. The film has been touted as an awards season contender; Variety reported in November that the film would be submitted for a best actor consideration at upcoming awards shows.

The film is written by M.B. Traven, Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani and produced by Cumberbatch, Adam Ackland, Leah Clarke, Lloyd Levin, Beatriz Levin, Mark Holder, Christine Holder, Branwen Prestwood Smith, and Michael Bronner.

Macdonald has directed a handful of well-received films in recent years, including the 2018 documentary film “Whitney,” the 2014 disaster thriller “Black Sea,” and the 2013 romantic drama “How I Live Now.” He won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for his 1999 title “One Day in September,” which centered on the murder of 11 Israeli athletes in 1972.

As for Foster, she recently appeared in films such as “Love, Antosha” and “Hotel Artemis,” while Rahim appeared in Damien Chazelle’s musical drama show “The Eddy” and the 2019 drama film “The Kindness of Strangers.”

Check out the trailer for “The Mauritanian’ below:

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