Based on true events.
Two Belgian bus drivers get arrested in Morocco. They are charged with smuggling cannabis. They are entirely innocent, but the local justice system doesn’t care.
They are convicted and end up in a hellhole. Hence the title.
It’s realistic. The actors are absolutely wonderful.
It’s the classic story of the little man fighting against the system. And the system has its overpaid servants in expensive suits who only care about their own comfort and look down on anyone not in their social class.
The director has also made a movie about a strike. So the guy has a strong social conscience and it shows in this movie as well.
It’s a touching story. There are bad guys, but they are not all bad. The worst people in this movie are the indifferent ones. People who feel morally superior and don’t want to lift a finger to help someone they feel little affinity with. It’s those who see the evil, can do something about and decide to do nothing about it because they are the lucky ones.
Best watched with subtitles as some of the characters have a strong accent. Like an accent typical for Antwerp.
It will teach you about Belgian culture and also about the stupidity and utter bureaucratic apathy of the Belgian authorities and police.
Slovaks will not be surprised by any of this. Just remember the way mister Chovanec was mistreated in a Belgian jail. One Belgian police officer did the Hitler salute while her colleagues were sitting on his chest. He later died and the authorities did nothing about it.
That’s what this movie is about. Abuse of power and indifference.
Luckily it’s also about powerless and down-trodden people stuck in shitty situations doing what they can to help each other out.
Highly recommended, though hard to watch at times. The movie delivers what it promises: hell.