Arnon Grunberg


What Exactly Is There to Understand about Abuse Carried out in Our Names?

The best thing for me to do before I'm off to Afghanistan is go to the movies, to see The Road to Guantánamo by Michael Winterbottom.

Or so I thought.

I had seen his Cock and Bull Story, a genuine attempt at avant-garde based on Lawrence Sterne’s Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy, Gentleman, one of the classics I haven’t read.

David Denby wrote in The New Yorker about Winterbottom’s Guantánamo, "This exposé of American sadism is a shocker, but the movie doesn’t bring us any closer to understanding the abuse that is carried out in our names.


I had my own problems with this movie. I could not understand some of the actors, a minor problem, and the lines between fiction and non-fiction were blurry.

But then, what exactly is there to understand about abuse carried out in our names?

And if the abuse is carried out in our names, which I think is the case, there must be a link between Camp Delta at Guantánamo Bay and Camp Holland in southern Afghanistan, which I’m going to visit in 24 hours.

You’ll hear from me. Inshallah.