Guantánamo Public Memory Project

Guantánamo in film

Each new host institution brings its own style to our traveling exhibit. Having so many collaborating students and universities means that new ideas and ways of engaging the public are constantly being generated. Rutgers held a poetry reading. UC Riverside offered screenings of ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’

Various forms of media – from an interactive map to SMS questions – have been built into the exhibit from its very inception, and our host institutions have elaborated upon this with their own forms of media engagement.

Film has been incorporated into the exhibit in a number of ways – from short interviews to full-length feature films. In the interests of making every possible resource available to future exhibit hosts, we’ve compiled this list of films focusing on Gitmo.

Guantánamo Circus

When a circus troop is brought to GTMO, the performers find themselves with access to a side of the base that gains very little attention: that of the military families living in “a neighborhood of modern suburban style homes that could be found anywhere in the United States.” The footage captured by the performers forms the basis of this documentary.

The film’s producers wrote this blog post about the project.

Guantánamo Notes

This three-part series tells the story of the Haitian political refugees detained at Camp Bulkeley, GTMO. Camp Bulkeley was famously described as an ‘HIV prison camp’ by Judge Sterling Johnson when he ordered the closure of the camp in 1993.

‘Guantánamo Notes’ was created by Crowing Rooster Arts.

Inside Guantánamo

National Geographic Explorer takes an inside look at the GTMO detention facilities. It chronicles the daily routines of both captives and guards, and includes interviews with many people who have spent time at GTMO.

You can watch the full documentary here.

Road to Guantánamo

Combining dramatized portrayals, historical footage, and interviews, this film depicts the stories of three young British men (the ‘Tipton Three’) who were captured in Afghanistan soon after 9/11, and later detained at GTMO.

The film generated controversy, but also acclaim. It received the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Features at the Sundance Film Festival, but questions were also raised about its seemingly sympathetic portrayal of the main characters.


Creative: Picture Projects & Tronvig Group