Jodie Foster is back in a leading role in the new trailer for the upcoming September 11th drama The Mauritanian. The film, adapted from Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantanamo Diary, tells the true story of the lawyers who defended Slahi and eventually got him released from Guantanamo Bay.
In the film, Foster plays Nancy Hollander, a lawyer who chose to represent one of the men accused of planning and organizing the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The preview sees Foster and her associate, played by Shailene Woodley, going to Guantanamo Bay to visit their client. “I’m Nancy Hollander, this is my associate, we wish to represent you,” a confident Foster tells Slahi (Tahar Rahim).
The preview is packed full of intense moments, showing the horrifying conditions at Guantanamo, tense courtroom scenes, and stressful moral quandaries. “Doesn’t it bother you at all, working for someone like this,” military prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch) asks Hollander in one scene, “I’m not just defending him, I'm defending the rule of law,” she replies.
The film is also set to show how the US broke laws and used red tape to prosecute and punish whoever they wanted after the 9/11 attacks.
“The US Government is holding upwards of 700 prisoners in Guantanamo,” Hollander says, “Since when did we start locking people up without a trial in this country?”
The legal case lasted for six long years, but we do see some glimmers of hope for Hollander and Slahi. Near the end of the preview, we can hear Foster’s voice saying “My client, he’s not a suspect. He’s a witness.”
The Mauritanian marks Foster’s first lead role in a film in nearly a decade. Back in 2011 She starred in Carnage, based on the Tony winning play Le Dieu du carnage, and since then, she’s only played supporting roles in a couple of genre movies. In that time, she focused on directing, helming episodes of House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Black Mirror and Tales from the Loop, as well as the 2016 drama Money Monster.
The Mauritanian is set to release February 19, 2021.