<em>The Prisoner Or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair</em> represents a follow-up to husband-and-wife filmmaking team Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein’s critically-worshipped, defiantly nonpartisan documentary Gunner Palace (2004), on the day-to-day of American soldiers stationed on the Iraqi front. In that earlier picture, Tucker and Epperlein stumble across Yunis Khatayer Abbas, a Middle Eastern man who merely confesses, “I am a journalist,” before American soldiers drag him off to incarceration. The Tuckers reconnected with Abbas at a later point, and disinter his backstory in this film.
Tortured by the goons of Saddam Hussein’s brother, Uday Hussein, Abbas later became a key terrorist suspect of the U.S. government, who believed that he intended to kill British prime minister Tony Blair. American authorities had Abbas thrown into the notorious Abu Ghirab prison (and other penitentiaries) and subjected him to month after month of grueling interrogation. Eventually, they released him.