A compelling look inside the world of Al Qaeda, Jonathan Hacker’s Path of Blood takes audiences behind the front lines through intimate home video footage captured by Saudi Arabian security forces during their battle with extremists.
Described in its trailer as the documentary “showing the hidden face of terrorism”, Jonathan Hacker’s Path of Blood presents an intimate portrait of life inside Al Qaeda.
Structured around countless hours of footage seized by Saudi Arabian security forces, as well as the Saudi’s own documentation of events, we see thrill-seeking jihadists signing up to overthrow the Saudi government. The culminates in three devastating car bombs targeting western compounds in downtown Riyadh. Government forces try to suppress the aggressors during an 2000s campaign of suicide bombings and assassinations and their brutal tactics are laid bare with raw matter-of-fact verite.
Hacker’s film exposes this brutality, showcasing the darkest side of humanity with startling detail established from hordes of recorded videos that Al Qaeda didn’t want the world to see.
Furthermore, this is Muslim terrorism targeting Muslim civilians whose protection comes from Muslim security forces. It is a stark reminder for some that all who are touched by terrorism are victimised by it.
“Regardless of your politics, this is a film that cannot fail to move your sense of humanity. It is hair-raising,” said Rex Reed in his Observer review.
Haunting from the outset, the documentary shows how brainwashed idealism and the youthful pursuit of adventure can descend into a hellish nightmare, depicted by madness and bloody carnage.
A corresponding book, published by Simon and Schuster, offers context and in-depth analysis of the defiantly objective film and its content.
Path of Blood is available on DVD from December 10.