Freedom is a big word / La libertad es una palabra grande

country, year
Uruguay, 2018


running time

directed by
Guillermo Rocamora

Spanish, English, Arabic


about the film
Guantanamo Bay, and then what? A 38-year-old Palestinian named Mohammed has been released from the notorious detention camp, where he had been starved, tortured and humiliated for 13 years. Under this regime he has been given a choice: to stay in Guantanamo or to start a new life in Uruguay, the only country willing to accept the detainee. He would be given a home and welfare support for two years, then he would be on his own. We follow Mohammed, a calm and very devout man, as he goes about his daily routine, from his arrival into the new homeland and until the end of the two-year-support period. He learns Spanish, takes driving lessons, prays, takes courses, gets in touch with his Palestinian family and, together with his Uruguayan wife, tries to overcome the challenge of his new life. He’s resigned as he grapples with the local bureaucracy, but his eyes speak volumes. At well-timed moments, we hear him narrating in voice-over about his traumatic experiences in Guantanamo. Above all, he strives to find a job, but who will take him on? Freedom is a Big Word tells us how goodwill can descend into a sense of impotence when confronted with such reality and reveals the complexity of the situation.

about the author
Rocamora was born in Uruguay in 1981. He studied Media Studies at Uruguay’s Republic University, and Screenwriting at the International Film and TV School in Cuba. He also participated in the creative writing workshop by the writer Mario Levrero. Guillermo was Assistant Producer for the feature movie Whisky directed by Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll, and Second Assistant Director for The Dog Pound directed by Manolo Nieto.

festivals and awards
Selected for the IDFA 2018 “Luminous Section” (Amsterdam, Holland)
Selected Montevideo DOC 2019 (Montevideo , Uruguay)
Detour 2019 (Uruguay)
E tudo Verdade 2019 (San Pablo , Brasil)
SAFICI VALLADOLID 2019 (mejor documental español)
Festival de SEVILLA , 2019

Connections (2004)
Good Trip (2007)
Solo (2013)
documentary series Cocaine Kingpin: Pablo Escobar (2014)
The Essence of Carolina Herrera de Baez (2013)