60 min


Zelim's Confession

Directing: Natalia Mikhaylova


Imagine you've never held a weapon in your hands but are forced into admitting that you were involved in a terrorist attack. This is precisely what happened to a young Chechen named Zelim. One early morning, he was arrested in his mother's house and held for five days at the police station for a crime he never committed. Despite being subjected to the most brutal forms of torture, he maintained his innocence, much to the cops' dismay. He denied any wrongdoing until he was near death, and finally he can tell us his story. Recalling these painful memories in Oslo, he comes across as an anxious, alert fellow as he talks about his sleepless nights, trying to put the traumatic events in perspective with a joke and a laugh. Since his arrest, his family has been fighting a lonely battle against the authorities to clear his name, and he is probably not the only young man in Russia to have been through this.
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