Indrukwekkende film! 4/5.
Webreview from Marco Vink / @FromRotterdam on Thu 31 January 18:29
En ineens stond Murat daar echt op het podium. Na een intense ervaring van 1,5. Tot nu toe de beste film die we dit jaar op het festival gezien hebben. De synopsis van de film zegt voldoende waar het over gaat, dus ga gewoon kijken. Briljant 5 sterren
Webreview from Vibes on Sun 27 January 10:46
I booked tickets for this film due to the fact that the theme intrigued me foremost, and also that we were advised that no real torture would be shown (I hate torture porn movies). I always wondered how I would behave in similar circumstances, regardless of being innocent (like here) or not so innocent.
It's a depressing concept to loose many years of your life for no reason. The film title told us upfront that his whole imprisonment added up to 5 years. The prisoner learned that fact only afterwards. For us viewers it was not obvious from the proceedings that it was that long. I can imagine that it is difficult to get the timing aspect across. Stretching the scenes is no solution, and I think that the current film length of 90 minutes cannot be extended much longer. The point is being made very well, and nothing more can be added to elaborate on the issue.
Particularly being alone all that time with no one to help you, is another aspect that would haunt me. And I can imagine that you cling to any friendly gesture, be it a “good cop”, a friendly guard, or an unusual pet like the iguana that found its way into his cell. The treatment by prison staff is harsh and you feel yourself completely exposed to their whims as well as an arbitrary set of rules. The best example of the latter was “no pets allowed” and hence the order to kill the iguana. The repercussions when he refused were severe.
This screening was the world premiere, and a considerable part of the cast was present. The main character was even present in duplicate, one in the form of the real Murat and one as the actor we saw on screen. The former (real) Murat is still involved in human rights issues within various organizations busy with torture etcetera. During the final Q&A there was a question from the audience how he could have survived that long. He replied that his religion was most important for him, and secondly that he was a young man who wanted to see his family again. He also added that the film showed only a single interrogator, but in reality it were more than a hundred different ones.
I don't think this film will attract a large audience, though being dramatized and well constructed to maintain our attention span for the whole length. The fact that the story is confined to one single interrogator, though not fully reflecting reality, is an aspect that elevates this film above the dry and factual documentary. It is brought to us as a cat-and-mouse game between two opposing characters, and I consider to be this a perfect choice made by the filmmakers.
Webreview from JvH48 on Sat 26 January 10:41