Exclusive Interview Footage: Tahar Rahim Talks THE MAURITANIAN
Jodie Foster stars in The Mauritanian as sage defense attorney Nancy Hollander, who takes on the real-life case of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim).
Held for years, without charge or trial, in a detention camp on the island of Cuba, thousands of miles away from his island home of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, Slahi is languishing with little hope of anyone believing in his innocence. Accused of being the principal recruiter for the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Slahi faces a death sentence. Who would take on that case?
Nancy Hollander would, and did, guided by firmly-held personal principles. As for Slahi, one wonders how he could maintain his sanity, much less his respectful demeanor, despite years of abuse. As Hollander, Jodie Foster gives "a profoundly satisfying, genuinely sincere performance that rings entirely true," as I wrote in my original review, so it's no surprise that she won a Golden Globe for her performance.
Tahar Rahim (A Prophet, director Kevin Macdonald's earlier The Eagle) was less familiar to my eyes on my first viewing of the film, which eased his believability as he plumbed hidden emotional depths to make Slahi's terrible plight something that becomes profoundly poignant.
Our exclusive interview footage features Tahar Rahim talking about the most challenging scenes, namely, the ones in which Mohamedou is tortured. The scenes are not easy to watch, so what was it like to enact them? First, Rahim notes that he wanted to respect his director, Kevin Macdonald, by offering an authentic performance. Beyond that, though, he felt a tremendous obligation to be as genuine as possible, "out of respect" to Mohamedou.
Watch the complete interview footage below. Shailene Woodley, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Zachary Levi also star. The Mauritanian is now available to own on digital, and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on May 11.