Forum: “The Oath”

12 Feb 2010 von Silvia Hallensleben

Wenn ein Film laut Ankündigung „einen spektakulären Blick ins Innere der Al-Qaida-Führung“ geben soll, sind nicht nur Paranoiker erstmal misstrauisch. Bei Laura Poitras’ „The Oath“ haben sie damit erstmal recht: Denn die Beschreibung trifft den Film kaum: Der angekündigte spektakuläre Blick bleibt ebenso aus wie der versprochene Blick ins Terror-Innere (bis auf einige AUsrutscher, etwa eine Fotosequenz mit den üblichen Fahndungsporträts der 9/11-Attentäter, die im Rest des Films eher wie ein Fremdkörper wirkt). Und um Al-Qaida-Führer dürfte es sich bei den beiden Protagonisten dieses Film kaum handeln. Aber gerade wegen seiner eher unspektakulären Haltung ist Laura Poitras` “The Oath“ ein faszinierender Film, der unerwartete Erkenntnisse bereithält. Die Regisseurin (schon 2006 mit „My country, my country“ im Forum zu Gast) nähert sich mit der gebotenen dokumentarischer Vorsicht dem dissentistischen jemenitischen Djidahisten Abu Jandal, der einige Jahre als Leibwächter und „Gästebetreuer“ Osama bin Ladens agiert hat und sich dann – nach eigener Aussage aus familiären Gründen – nach Pakistan abgesetzt. Nach Haft und einem jemenitischen Reedukationsprogramm betreibt der reformierte Gotteskrieger seine Bekehrungswerk jetzt mit klug gesetzten Worten in Fernsehdebatten und Interviews und arbeitet als Taxifahrer in Saana. Dabei bleibt bei dem eloquenten und charismatischen Rhethoriker immer unklar, was von seinen Geschichten man glauben kann und was nicht. Denn Abu Jandal ist bei allem Eigensinn und selbtverstädnlicher Religiosität vor allem ein Meister situativ angepasster Kommunikation.

Als Gegenfolie zu Abu Jandals Leben lässt Regisseurin Poitras den Verlauf des Militärtribunals gegen den sogenannten Osama-Chauffeur Salim Hamdam mitlaufen, einen Bekannten Abu Jandals, den dieser damals nach eigener Aussage für Al-Quaida rekrutiert hatte und der lange Jahre in Guantanamo saß. Hamdams Verfahren, das erste gegen ein Al-Quaida-Mitglied, hatte Aufsehen erregt, weil hier nachträglich Gesetze geändert wurden, um zu einer Verurteilung zu kommen. Als Figur interessant ist dabei vor allem Hamdams Verteidiger, ein US-Offizier, der mit juristischen Waffen gegen die eigene Regierung antritt.

Unter dem Niveau des sonstigen Films eigentlich nur die Musik, die mit einem penetrant eingesetzten ‘Guantanamo-Motiv’ versucht, visuelle Impressionen aus dem kubanischen LAger mit der gehörigen Gruselstimmung zu unterlegen.

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