Jihad Rehab

Director: Meg Smaker

Institute History

  • 2022 Sundance Film Festival


Twenty years after the Guantanamo Bay detention camp was established by the U.S. military in the wake of 9/11, its legacy continues to cast a long shadow. This film focuses on several men — detained in Guantanamo for years without charge by the United States — after they are placed in what’s billed as the world’s first rehabilitation center for extremists. There, they undergo the center’s “deradicalization” program, which includes therapy sessions and life skills classes, before they are permitted to be released into an unfamiliar society where they will face new challenges. In the process, the four men illuminate their individual understanding of what the term “jihad” has meant in their own lives, and express the anguish and complexities of their personal journeys. In her feature debut, director Meg Smaker takes us inside not only the center but also her conversations and experiences with these men as they move to an uncertain future. With empathy and extraordinary access, Jihad Rehab is a powerful document of how individuals and societies face the far-reaching consequences of conflict.

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]