Camp X-Ray

“Usually once I deplete my DVD queue, the next step is to move on to the next show on Netflix that I hafta catch up. But while I have a list of those that I need to attack, I just didn’t feel like it yet. I hardly ever watch actual movies there, and I thought it might be worth digging into a few before committing to the next binge-athon. Maybe I just wanted to put off deciding what to watch next. I didn’t even know Netflix had this movie until shortly before I decided to watch it.

In this 2014 movie, Kristen Stewart plays a soldier stationed at Guantanamo Bay. I remember when this movie was first released (very limited, kinda under the radar), I was baffled at the casting. Stewart still wasn’t too removed from her Twilight days or her Huntsman affair, so it was tough to take her seriously. Somehow though, there was talk of longshot awards potential. It never materialized, and I forgot all about it. Then she did more of these small independent films and more people were talking about how good she was. It was Still Alice that finally made me realize that maybe she is a pretty good actress afterall, and therefore shouldn’t be judged on the mistakes of her youth.

That was half of the interest in wanting to see this right away. The second was the storyline. Ever since seeing The Stanford Prison Experiment a couple years back, which then lead to reading The Lucifer Effect, I’ve had an interest in the prison/prisoner dynamic. And there’s no greater prison than Gitmo.

The film focuses on Stewart’s relationship with one particular detainee (they make a point of emphasizing that the men in there are detainees, not perisoners). Even though she’s discouraged from any unnecessary conversation with the detainees, she forms a sort of friendship with one man who has spent the past 8 years locked up there.

I’m not completely sure what my thoughts are on the movie itself. I was completely drawn into the world (as previously mentioned, it’s something that interests me) and I get the message it was trying to convey, but I don’t think it’s one that’s gonna stay with me. The Stanford Prison experiment shook me to my core. This just made me say “”hmm””. Oh and it did make me more likely to give Stewart another chance in the future. So there’s that.”

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