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The Anatomy of Evil

  • 90 mins

Ove Nyholm's sombre, feature-length documentary about death squads during World War II and the 1990s Balkan War. Nyholm interviews perpetrators from both conflicts in an attempt to discover what enables ordinary people to commit atrocities. These men discuss their crimes with little emotion or guilt. Many say that after the first killing, it became easy. Time and again, they present the same defence: it was us or them. At the end of the documentary, Nyholm questions his long-cherished belief that he would not act in the same way. It is a difficult and brave admission, but a vital one. It is too easy to dismiss these people as inhuman monsters; far harder to acknowledge the human capacity for cruelty.

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