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Albert Londres Prize 2016 in the Audiovisual Press category, this film is a chilling investigation into the invisible weapon of Bashar al-Assad’s regime: the kidnapping, torture and murder of tens of thousands of Syrians.
Images of the first peaceful protests of March 2011 have become a vague, almost fanciful memory. The Syria of 2015 has sunk into civil war and absolute chaos. Chaos caused by the over-mediatised brutality of the self proclaimed Islamic State. Chaos, also and above all, caused by the invisible and little known weapon of Bashar al-Assad’s regime: the kidnapping, torture and murder, since 2011, of tens of thousands of Syrians – up to 200,000 of them, depending on the source.
Countless disappearances reveal the relentless death machine secretly set up by Damascus: teenagers are rounded up in their schools, protesters are sent in trucks to unknown destinations, and passers-by are arbitrarily arrested. For the first time, families in exile, survivors, but also accomplices of the Alawite regime, lay bare the strategy the Syrian dictatorship uses in order to remain in power at all costs. According to Munir al-Hariri, who served the Assads until November 2012, “the objective is not murder, but to prove the State’s strength and tyranny. The objective is to kill some to teach a lesson to others”.
2016: Albert Londres Prize 2016 in the Audiovisual Press category (Londres, United-Kingdom)