Sundance review: ‘Camp X-Ray’
*** (three stars)
Once you get past the obvious physical miscasting of the petite Kristen Stewart as a Guantanamo Bay MP, writer-director Peter Sattler’s drama "Camp X-Ray" plays out as a thoughtful story of two people caught in a bad situation. Stewart plays Pfc. Amy Cole, assigned to Gitmo in 2009, and getting accustomed to the daily routine of tending to the detainees who have been locked up since 2001. Though she’s warned not to get conversational with the detainees, she becomes intrigued with one, Alim (Payman Maadi, from "A Separation"), whose long record of outbursts belies an erudite soul who does sudoku puzzles and reads the Harry Potter books. Sattler uses the byplay between Amy and Alim to illustrate the gulf between two cultures, and the strong performances by Stewart and Maadi highlight the difference between what we think we know about "the other" and how they really are.
-- Sean P. Means
"Camp X-Ray" screens again: Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at the Library Center Theatre, Park City: Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City; Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Peery’s Egyptian Theatre, Ogden; Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at The MARC, Park City; and Friday, Jan. 24, at 8:30 p.m. at the Library Center Theatre, Park City.