Lars Feldballe-Petersen | Finland, Denmark
Can one, as a war criminal, come to terms with the past, when one has committed what is possibly the worst of all crimes: torturing and executing innocent victims in the unholy name of war? This is a question that Esad Landzo has asked himself for years. But now he has arrived at a realisation. He has to meet the people he victimised during the civil war in former Yugoslavia almost 25 years ago. For it is only through reconciliation and forgiveness that Esad can set himself free. And, like he says when he sits with a picture of himself as an 18-year-old and can barely recognise himself: ‘I simply don’t know where all the evil came from.’ But can Esad Landzo be forgiven – and should he? ‘The Unforgiven’ confronts Esad with his victims and with himself as a young man in a dark, personal tale of evil, self-hatred and forgiveness. But the psychology of war is a bleak and inaccessible landscape that stretches far beyond Esad’s own, heartbreaking story.