They don’t wear uniforms or carry weapons; they have no bodyguards. Yet their missions take them to the most dangerous places on Earth. As investigators of the International Criminal Court they painstakingly gather evidence against those responsible for some of the most serious crimes committed in our time: in Darfur, Uganda, The Democratic Republic of the Congo and – as the least known spot on the map of core crimes – in the Central African Republic.
In 2002, a wave of violence shook the Central African Republic. Militant rebels from neighboring Congo received carte blanche from their leader Jean-Pierre Bemba to kill, rape and pillage. The film „Carte Blanche” follows the investigators of the first permanent international court into the heart of Africa. Eight years after the violence, justice shall be done. And Jean-Pierre Bemba – as one of the first commanders being prosecuted before an international tribunal for his command responsibility for systematic rape – is to be put on trial.
"Film teams never go on mission..." – that was the International Criminal Court’s hard and fast rule at the beginning of our work. Today, four years later, we are the only film team that has been allowed to accompany the investigators on their missions – not a foregone conclusion in the presence of ongoing legal proceedings. We came in touch with sensitive investigations, including an exhumation and a crime scene analysis. We accepted the necessary restrictions so that neither the people working for the court nor the witnesses and victims would come to harm. „Carte Blanche“ is a testimony of cinematic work on the limits of documentary filmmaking.
35mm, 91 Min, 2011
A co-production of PS Film und Specogna Film, Westdeutscher Rundfunk and Schweizer Fernsehen in cooperation with arte, editor: Sabine Rollberg (WDR/arte), SF Schweizer Fernsehen, editor: Urs Augstburger
Funded by Bundesamt für Kultur, Sektion Film, Zürcher Filmstiftung, George Foundation, Amnesty International Schweiz, Katholische Kirche im Kanton Zürich, SUISA – Stiftung für Musik, Migros Kulturprozent