Zelim’s Confession
(2013) – Dokumentarfilm 60′


XXIII International Film Festival Message To Man – St. Petersburg (Russland)


Regie: Natalia Mikhaylova
Kamera: Natalia Mikhaylova
Montage: Philipp Gromov


Komposition/Produktion: Leonard Petersen
Musik Mischtonmeister: Christoph de la Chevallerie


Fokus-Preis „Transit“ – Sehsüchte Potsdam

Nominierung: Bester Dokumentarfilm – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

Lobende Erwähnung in der Sektion „Fokus Kaukasus“ – CinéDOC Tbilisi





Zelim escaped from the Northern Caucasus. Now he is desperately trying to forget his past and get used to his present but the nightmares of what has happened are haunting him. Lost and curious he is running all over Oslo trying to learn this place that has become his new home.

He just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. One day, like any other day in Ingushetia, Zelim was forced into a car and taken to a police station. Since that very moment his whole life changed. Five long days of torture followed.

The story of Zelim sheds light on rather unknown systematic human rights violations in the Northern Caucasus. There are numerous stories similar to Zelim’s taking place almost every day. On the edge of Russia, invisible from outside but obvious to locals, civil war is on and there are no laws. The film is a naive and sincere confession of an ordinary guy. The guy who got involved in the strange war against his will and who was strong enough not to confess to the crimes he had not committed even in the face of death.

This film is about outstanding courage, integrity and willingness of an individual to stand up for the truth.