Basque filmmaker Ander Iriarte always suspected that his father had been tortured by the Spanish police. But he wasn’t sure, because his father never spoke of the past. This changed when his father participated in an extensive research project into torture in the Basque Country between 1960 and 2014, promoted by the Basque Government’s Peace Plan. The research report, endorsed by the United Nations, demonstrated more than 4,000 cases of torture. Iriarte’s father broke after three days of interrogations and torture.
The videotaped witness statements reveal horrific torture practices. To find out what torture is and what it does to victims, Iriarte interviewed psychiatrists, lawyers and other experts who conducted the study. They discuss in detail the Istanbul Protocol, adopted by the United Nations in 1999, which provided guidelines for the investigation and documentation of torture and other inhuman treatment. The disturbing conclusion is that torture is not the work of deranged sadists, but is systemically embedded in societies.