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by Rose Finlay

Monika  Borgmann, Libanon/ France/ Czech Republic/ Qatar/ United Arab Emirates

In Syria,  there is a prison renown for its history of psychologically and physically  torturing political and criminal prisoners: Tadmor Prison. Thousands of men  were tortured and killed in this infamous prison until it was closed in  2001.However, with the civil uprising in 2011,Tadmor was once again reopened  until it was destroyed by ISIL in 2015.

TADMOR  brings together 22 former prisoners most of whom were incarcerated from the  ‘80s until the late ‘90s. Most were confined in bleak concrete rooms with  dozens of other prisoners, their survival given up to chance and forced to  carry out demeaning demands by their captors, which seemed to inevitably end in  humiliation and torture. Survival was mostly by chance alone and even shifting  while sleeping was enough of reason to die. The survivors' lives were  permanently scarred by their experiences, but they were inspired to contribute  to a film which might help shed light on the atrocities they lived through.  With a combination of interviews and reenactments, TADMORis a harrowing testament to the cruelty of corrupt governments and  the endurance of the human spirit.

Winner of the Political Film Award, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung