“The other people are not people,” states a human rights lawyer describing the abhorrent regime of Bashar al-Assad, “They are obstacles.” Since 2011, many tens of thousands of Syrians have been killed or disappeared. A military police photographer code-named “Caesar” smuggled out of the country as many as 27,000 photos of prisoners who had been tortured and murdered.
Director Stéphane Malterre and his co-author and historical advisor Garance Le Caisne portray the Sisyphean task of discovering the identity of the victims and mapping the scale of the crimes in calm, elegant and flowing images, filmed in cool, restrained colors.
Lawsuits are prepared in Spain and France, but courts in Europe are hesitant to deal with the case, as the regime is still in power. Initially, only Germany dares to take the risk. However, when the Syrian regime issues death certificates for the missing people in 2018, France also takes action.