War Diary

"I am an eye witness. A chronicler of a war. Everything you are about to see, I experienced myself." 5 years, 15,000 segments, one film. German reporter Carsten Stormer has been documenting the war in Syria since 2012. "War Diary" is his record of that time.

In the makeshift hospital in Aleppo, the injured wash in like waves on a beach. The camera roams around taking in the chaos for minutes at a time, without cutting. A bakery down a narrow alley. A little window in the wall, where the starving wait for hours at a time for one loaf of bread. The people here have become flotsam of the war. In a bombed-out street, a man sweeps the pavement. Carsten Stormer experiences the brutality, but also the heroism of humankind.

A former teacher is now editor-in-chief of a resistance newspaper. She smuggles cartoons against Assad through regime checkpoints. In the early days, the White Helmets dug people out of the rubble without helmets or spades. Agir, a Kurd in the PKK, is busy cooking a chicken with potatoes. Suddenly IS attack. Agir runs out for 10 minutes of warfare, and then returns to his cooking. We witness the absurdity of this war.

Carsten Stormer is always there recording hundreds of hours of footage, without any idea of the price he himself will have to pay. "Wounded people wash up in the small hospital. One after the other, in a constant flow. I see, I film and I suppress. There's so much blood I can no longer get it out of my head. So I simply work on", says Stormer. Anyone who works in Syria for a prolonged time leaves part of his soul in that torn country. "War Diary" is a very personal film, a five-year journal of horror and heroism.

Marc Wiese, Grimme Prize winner, has been making documentaries for 20 years and has worked in many conflict areas around the world. He has won numerous international awards for his films, which include "CAMP 14", "KANUN" and "Picture of Napalm Girl".