In “It is not Past–08 12 1982,” director Ida Does thoroughly explores the torture and murdering of fifteen lawyers, journalists, scientists, entrepreneurs and military men by the military dictatorship of Desi Bouterse on December 8, 1982 at Fort Zeelandia in Paramaribo. The film shows new testimonies of eyewitnesses, archival footage and the work of contemporary artists. Journalist Noraly Beyer talks to young people and contemporaries about a past that turns out not to be a past.
This horrific night marked a systematic and widespread attack on democratic Suriname, not only with the murders but also with the military destructive attack on buildings of the free press and the biggest trade union. The torture and killings are qualified as crimes against humanity by Professor John Dugard, South African human rights expert, who investigated the murders.
The film includes impressive testimonies and reconstructions drawn from the 8th December trial that led to a 20-year sentence for former army chief and former President of Suriname Desi Bouterse, who is still a free and armed citizen in Suriname, while his appeal is ongoing. Taken together, it paints a harrowing and gruesome picture of the night in question in the context of putschism and dictatorship in a small Caribbean and South American country. At the same time the film provides an impressive picture of the decades-long struggle for truth and justice.