“This is a war zone.”
At one point in Peter Sattler’s drama “Camp X-Ray,” a commanding officer (Lane Garrison) says that to a group of new recruits who have arrived at Guantanamo Bay to become guards for the “detainees” held indefinitely there. He intends it to remind the soldiers that, though their duties consist of cleaning floors, serving meals and watching prisoners day after mind-numbing day, they should consider themselves on a black-and-white battlefield, and the detainees their enemies.
But the statement comes true in another way, as Sattler shows how life in Guantanamo mirrors the uncertain gray of the War on Terror. “Camp X-Ray,” now out on DVD from IFC Films, could have been a political polemic, of course. But writer-director Sattler keeps the drama small and intimate, between two people, focusing on the minutiae of daily life inside the prison and letting us draw the moral implications.