Het Is Geen Verleden—08121982 (It Is Not Past—08 12 1982)

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.


Film Stills

Image Caption: Featured image for ‘Het Is Geen Verleden—08121982 (It Is Not Past—08 12 1982)’. Image Caption: Featured image for ‘Het Is Geen Verleden—08121982 (It Is Not Past—08 12 1982)’.


Het Is Geen Verleden—08121982 (It Is Not Past—08 12 1982) (2022)

Medium Length (56mins) Documentary


The Netherlands, Suriname




No Rating


Rens Mevissen


Ida Does


Mon 25 Sep 2023, 5.30pm, MovieTowne, POS—Screen 10

T+T Premiere

Ida Does

Ida Does

Ida Does is a renowned director, producer, creative concept developer, and writer specializing in documentary films. Her work encompasses themes of colonial history, art, culture, social justice, and Caribbean literary pioneers. She has received international acclaim, winning awards at various film festivals, including Trinidad & Tobago, Los Angeles, New York, Hawaii, and Toronto.

Her latest documentary, “It is not Past—08 12 1982” (2023), meticulously examines the December Murders in Suriname, her home country, exploring the enduring impact of these crimes against humanity on Surinamese society and the diaspora. Another notable work, “New Light: The Rijksmuseum and Slavery” (2021), received awards in New York and Belize and represented the Dutch NPO at the International Emmy Awards. In 2023, the film was included in the Rijksmuseum’s United Nations presentation on slavery in New York.

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