The Oath

Laura Poitras

Portrait of two men who personally experienced America’s anti-terrorism policy. Abu Jandal served as Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard for three years and now tries to make a living as a taxi driver in Yemen. An elusive yet fascinating man. His brother-in-law Salim Hamdan was the first Guantánamo Bay prisoner to stand trial.

Abu Jandal, Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard from 1997 to 2000, has put an end to his terrorist career. While he is depicted as a former terrorist by international media, he nonetheless teaches young Yemenite men about ‘the American pagans’. And he speaks about his brother-in-law Salim Hamdan, imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay since 2001, and the first terrorism suspect to stand trial in 2004. Although Hamdan cannot and may not be filmed, The Oath also deals with this probably innocent prisoner. In a calm, observing style, filmmaker Laura Poitras questions America’s Middle East policy in the past decennia.


Laura Poitras
Country of production
United States
96 minutes
Spoken language
Arabic, English
Production company
Praxis Films Berlin
World Sales
Cat & Docs