The Oath

Film phase:Completed


Abu Jandal is a taxi driver in Sana’a, Yemen; his brother-in-law Salim Hamdan is a Guantanamo prisoner and the first man to face the controversial military tribunals. Jandal and Hamdan’s intertwined personal trajectories – how they became Bin Laden’s bodyguard and driver respectively – act as prisms that serve to explore and contextualize a world that has confounded Western media. As Hamdan’s trial progresses, his military lawyers challenge fundamental flaws in the court system. The charismatic Jandal dialogues with his young son, Muslim students and journalists, and chillingly unveils the complex evolution of his belief system post-9/11. Winner of Best Documentary Cinematography at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, The Oath offers a rare window into a hidden realm and into the international impact of the U.S. War on Terror.


Laura Poitras won an Academy Award® in 2015 for Citizenfour; she was also nominated for an Academy Award®, an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy for My Country, My Country. She received a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Emmy and an Independent Spirit Award for Flag Wars made with Linda Goode Bryant. Poitras is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Media Arts Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation/Tribeca Film Institute. She has attended the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Edit and Story Lab as both a fellow and creative advisor. Before making documentaries, Poitras worked as a professional chef. She lives in New York City.