Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr

Poster for Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr

Omar Khadr, the Canadian citizen who was captured by American forces in Afghanistan in 2002 and spent a decade imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, tells his own story in his own words, in this documentary portrait from directors Patrick Reed (Fight Like Soldiers Die Like Children) and Michelle Shephard.

July 27, 2002 marks a watershed event in history. On that day, the Toronto-born fifteen-year-old Omar Khadr was captured in Afghanistan by American forces during a raid. Wounded, he was taken in by the US authorities and sent to the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Branded by some as a child soldier and accused by many others of being a terrorist and murderer, Khadr would find his next thirteen years a long, torturous battle for freedom.

In prison, Khadr struggled to endure the inhumane conditions and demoralizing improbability of release. In the outside world, public outcry mounted as the US and Canadian governments refused to take action. It took the relentless work of Dennis Edney, Khadr’s lawyer of over a decade, to advance the case. He was finally repatriated to Canada in 2012, and released on bail on May7, 2015.

Featuring unprecedented access to Omar Khadr during his first few days of freedom and to former fellow inmates, family members and government officials, Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr delivers an intimate portrait of how a teenager from a Toronto suburb became the center of one of the first U.S. war crimes trials since the prosecution of Nazi commanders in the 1940s and the only juvenile ever tried for war crimes.

This documentary, based in part on Michelle Shephard’s authoritative book Guantanamo’s Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr, investigates a life that has sparked some of the most heated political debates in recent history. Filmmakers Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard reveal a young man who is cautiously ready for another chapter of his life. And for the first time, Omar Khadr himself tells us his side of the story.