51' 2017 UK director: Sara Afshar cinematography: Javier Manzano, Jonathan Caller, Jay Dacey editing: Gordon Watt production: Nicola Cutcher; AFSHAR FILMS
Although the war in Syria has been at the center of the world's media attention for years, little is known about the fate of tens of thousands of missing men, women and children kidnapped by the regime's security services and detained in secret prisons. The protagonists in Sara Afshar's film want to change this. In view of a future trial against Syria's dictator at a secret location in Europe, they have been diligently collecting the testimony of witnesses and documents discovered in the regime's destroyed archives. The evidence includes images of people who have been murdered and prisoners’ letters written in blood on pieces of material that have been smuggled out of the country. Witnesses speak of torture and the industrial scale of the regime's crimes. Bashar al-Assad is unlikely to face trial anytime soon, but when it finally happens, thanks to the enormous work done by dozens of people—former prisoners, deserters from the regime's army and world-class lawyers—there will be no doubt about the evidence for the indictment.