The Mauritanian

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German title The Mauritanian
Original title The Mauritanian
Country of production USA , UK
original language English
Publishing year 2021
length 130 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Kevin Macdonald
script Michael Bronner
production Adam Ackland ,
Michael Bronner,
Leah Clarke ,
Benedict Cumberbatch ,
Christine Holder ,
Mark Holder ,
Beatriz Levin ,
Lloyd Levin ,
James Joseph McDonald ,
Branwen Prestwood Smith
music Tom Hodge
camera Alwin H. Küchler
cut Justine Wright

The Mauritanian (Original title: The Mauritanian ; formerly Prisoner 760 ) is an American-British thriller by the director Kevin Macdonald , which was released in the USA on February 12, 2021. It is scheduled to open in German cinemas on June 10, 2021. The film is based on the Guantanamo diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi .


Mohamedou was arrested in Mauritania after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and taken to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base detention center without formal charge . Mohamedou is accused of collaborating with the attackers. But the chief prosecutor Stuart Couch had doubts about Mohamedou's guilt . Nancy Hollander becomes Mohamedou's lawyer and realizes how Mohamedou was treated in the detention center and that his confessions were obtained through torture .


The film is based on the Guantanamo diary of Mohamedou Ould Slahi , which the latter published from Guantanamo prison. This has been translated into many languages. Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Salahi turned to the Mauritanian authorities on November 20, 2001 to ask questions about the Millennium plot. He was detained for seven days and questioned by Mauritanian officials and agents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Then the CIA placed him in a Jordanian prison, where he was held for eight months and, according to Slahi, tortured by the Jordanians. After being flown to Afghanistan and detained for two weeks, he was detained in the military on August 4, 2002 and taken to the Guantánamo Bay Detention Center in Cuba. He stayed here until October 2016 and was then brought back to his home country of Mauritania.


Mohamedou Slahi, a former prisoner in Guantanamo, is played by Tahar Rahim in the film Mohamedou Slahi, a former prisoner in Guantanamo, is played by Tahar Rahim in the film
Mohamedou Slahi , a former prisoner in
Guantanamo, is played by Tahar Rahim in the film
The film was shown on June 9, 2021 as part of the opening of the Berlinale Summer Special

The film was announced in November 2019. Kevin Macdonald was hired as a director. Slahi's memoir Guantanamo Diary was adapted for the film by Michael Bronner . In the credits, the film explains that of the 779 prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay, only eight have been convicted, with three being overturned on appeal.

Tahar Rahim plays Mohamedou Ould Slahi in the film . Benedict Cumberbatch played Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Couch and Jodie Foster played lawyer Nancy Hollander. Shailene Woodley plays their collaborator Teri Duncan.

Filming began on December 2, 2019 in South Africa . Further recordings were made in Mauritania , the country of birth of Slahi. Filming ended in mid-February 2020. Alwin H. Küchler acted as cameraman .

The score was composed by Tom Hodge . The soundtrack album with a total of 34 pieces of music was released for download by Sony Classical on February 12, 2021.

The first trailer was presented in early December 2020. The film opened in US cinemas on February 12, 2021. A theatrical release in Germany is planned for June 10, 2021. Screenings at the Berlin International Film Festival are planned for June 2021 . There, performances at the Summer Special are planned from June 9, 2021, which will take place open air.


Age ratings and reviews

In the USA, the film received an R rating from the MPAA , which corresponds to a rating of 17 and over. In Germany, the film was approved by the FSK from the age of 12.

So far, the film has received positive ratings from 75 percent of all Rotten Tomatoes critics.

Peter Debruge of Variety noted The Mauretanian leave from the beginning a lot of room for skepticism of the public towards Mohamedou Ould Slahi . Over time, the story gains momentum and becomes exciting in the end. In tough American TV series, characters like Jack Bauer used extreme tactics to get information quickly, but that's exactly what Kevin Macdonald doesn't show here when he covers everything from waterboarding to forced intercourse to break the prisoners, but at the same time destroy the viewer's trust in the system.

Michael Meyns from the Gilde deutscher Filmkunsttheater explains that The Mauritanien is not a classic court drama , but rather describes the long years that Slahi had to endure behind bars, in changing American prisons, under various methods of torture, in an often hard-to-bear immediacy. At least in Tahar Rahim's portrayal, Slahi maintains sheer inhuman dignity and hope for the good in the American legal system. Kevin Macdonald's haunting drama is particularly convincing as a beacon about the moral abyss into which a superpower can drift.


Artios Awards 2021

  • Nomination in the Independent Film - Drama category

British Academy Film Awards 2021

Golden Globe Awards 2021

London Critics' Circle Film Awards 2021


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Der Mauritanier . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry (PDF; test number: 204391 / K). Template: FSK / maintenance / type not set and Par. 1 longer than 4 characters
  3. Susanne Koelbl, DER SPIEGEL: The story of prisoner number 760 - DER SPIEGEL - Politics. Retrieved June 8, 2020 .
  4. ^ A b Filming for "Prisoner 760" movie in Mauritania is complete. In:, February 20, 2020.
  5. a b Peter Debruge: 'The Mauritanian' Review: The Quiet Dignity of Tahar Rahim Anchors a Tough Post-9/11 Legal Drama. In: Variety, January 12, 2021.
  6. Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim & Shailene Woodley Board 'Prisoner 760', STX Launching At AFM
  7. Bory's Kit: Zachary Levi Joins Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch in drama 'Prisoner 760' (Exclusive) . December 27, 2019. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  8. Catherine Shoard: 'Over one hour everything was canceled' - how coronavirus devastated the film industry. In. The Guardian, March 20, 2020.
  9. 'The Mauritanian' soundtrack album details. In:, February 11, 2021.
  10. James White: The Mauritanian: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jodie Foster And Shailene Woodley Get Legal In The New Drama Trailer. In:, December 1, 2020.
  11. Steven Sheehan: The Mauritanian trailer: Tahar Rahim, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jodie Foster are involved in a Guantánamo conspiracy. In:, December 1, 2020.
  12. Tom Grater: Berlinale Unveils Competition Line-Up: New Pics From Daniel Bruhl, Celine Sciamma, Radu Jude, Xavier Beauvois & Hong Sang-soo. In:, February 11, 2021.
  13. ^ The Mauritanian / The Mauritanian. In: Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  14. The Mauritanian. In: Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  15. The Mauretanian. In: Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  16. Peter Debruge: 'The Mauritanian' Review: The Quiet Dignity of Tahar Rahim Anchors a Tough Post-9/11 Legal Drama. In: Variety, January 12, 2021.
  18. Erik Pedersen: Artios Awards Film Nominations: 'Borat', 'Da 5 Bloods', 'Chicago 7', 'One Night In Miami' & More Up For Casting Society Prizes In: on February 19, 2021, accessed on February 19, 2021.
  19. Manori Ravindran: BAFTA Unveils Film Nominations in Historic Year After Diversity Review: 'Nomadland', 'Rocks' Lead Nominees. In: Variety, March 9, 2021.
  20. Winners & Nominees 2021 . In: (accessed March 1, 2021).
  21. Andreas Wiseman: Female Filmmakers Lead Nominees For London Critics' Circle Film Awards In: on January 12, 2021, accessed on January 12, 2021.