A documentary that tells the story of the Sami Al-Arian prosecution from his family’s point of view is going to be shown Wednesday night at the Tampa Theatre.

Made by Norwegian filmmaker Line Halvorsen, “USA vs Al-Arian” doesn’t have a U.S. distributor, said Ahmed Bedier, executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, which is co-sponsoring the showing of the film.

Bedier and the Rev. Warren Clark, pastor of the First United Church of Christ, held a news conference to call attention to the showing.

Reporters were provided with a 15-minute excerpt of the film. The full documentary was not available for a prescreening, despite extensive efforts by reporters.

The film’s producers did not respond to an e-mail seeking a review copy of the film, and the theater referred a reporter to the council. Bedier said he wouldn’t have access to the full film until next week.

In the excerpt provided, Al-Arian is interviewed in jail talking about the pain of separation from his family and of his incarceration. The government, he asserts, is trying to break him.

His wife, Nahla, is shown cutting son Ali’s hair as Al-Arian participates in family discussions by speakerphone.


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