Uyghurs, Prisoners of the Absurd


2015 Season
London, Toronto

October 2001: As US-led forces invade Afghanistan in search of Osama Bin Laden, 22 members of China's Uyghur minority happen to be in the country. These Turkish-speaking Muslims are fleeing repressive authorities in Beijing, which view them as dangerous terrorists. They are about to be drawn into an unbelievable odyssey, becoming pawns who are mercilessly manipulated on the chessboard of international politico-economic interests. Sold to US forces, they are illegally detained at Guantánamo for years. Patricio Henríquez's film focuses on three of these "survivors of the absurd." Edited like a thriller, with multiple twists and turns, the film reveals their stories, by turns fascinating and painful. Guiding the viewer through the labyrinth of contemporary geopolitics, the filmmaker lays bare the worrisome drifts in the global economic war and the fight against terrorism.

Patricio Henríquez
Country of Production: 
In English, Mandarin and Uyghur with English subtitles
Filmmaker Bio(s): 
Patricio Henriquez
Director, Producer

Patricio Henríquez fled repression in Chile and settled in Montreal in 1974. Patricio Henríquez’s prolific body of work, acknowledged by more than 70 awards and distinctions, consistently reflects the political engagement of a filmmaker who places dignity and respect for human rights at the core of his artistic practice.