Forensic Landscapes

  • Anne Huffschmid, Pablo Martinez-Zarate
  • Mexico, Germany
  • 2020
  • 80
  • Immersive
  • European Premiere
  • do not touch, IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling

South America has a violent history of military juntas, civil wars, and brutal crime. Many thousands of victims have disappeared without a trace. In various countries, forensic organizations have been formed to investigate the human remains and even mass graves that have occasionally been discovered.

In this award-winning interactive web documentary, their work is aptly visualized in eight virtual environments, in a strikingly aesthetic form. From an exhumation you move to the examination table, a court of law, or the water in which death squads have dumped bodies. Each environment contains miniatures of experts and surviving relatives, who also feature in short videos where they talk about different aspects of forensic investigation—about the scientific side, but also about personal involvement, historical backgrounds, and ethical issues.

Relatives talk about the disappearance of their loved ones, the perpetual uncertainty, and the impact this has on their lives. Over 20 years, thousands of bodies have been exhumed—and according to one of the experts, at least another 40 years of forensic work still awaits.


  • 80
  • Spoken languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles in: English
Anne Huffschmid, Pablo Martinez-Zarate
Anne Huffschmid for Freie Universitat Berlin, Pablo Martinez-Zarate for Laboratorio Iberoamericano de Documental
Jan Hennies, Thomas Walther
Santiago Moyao
Jan Hennies

IDFA history

European Premiere
do not touch
IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling

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