• Madeleine Leroyer
  • France
  • 2019
  • 63 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary, Focus: It Still Hurts
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On April 18, 2015, a ship carrying at least 800 refugees sank off the Libyan coast. A year later, the salvaged wreck is brought to a Sicilian military base, where a forensic pathologist and her team are waiting to discover the identity of the victims. At this point, all that remains of victim #387 are remnants of clothing and decaying photographs and letters. Sim cards, soaked banknotes and a tube of toothpaste: these simple belongings have now become macabre still lifes.

In this investigative documentary, others employ their own methods to identify those who died. A researcher visits cemeteries where victims are buried as numbers, and works laboriously through various archives. Meanwhile, a Red Cross worker hopes to speak to possible family members in African villages, to discover the victims’ stories and give them a name.

This cinematic journey with a detective feel reveals the drudgery of humanitarian work, but above all it serves as a testament to the value of human life.


  • 63 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Italian, English, French, Amharic, Tigrigna, Bambara, Soninke
  • Subtitles in: English
Madeleine Leroyer
Valérie Montmartin for Little Big Story
Stenola Productions, Stenola Productions, Graffiti DOC
Thibault Delavigne
Tania Goldenberg
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IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary
Focus: It Still Hurts

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IDFA history