Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Silence of Others: Speaks Up in Amnesiac Spain

By José Alberto Hermosillo
The Silence of Others poster ©2018 Cinephil
Applause to “The Silence of Others” – An Award Winner documentary that appraises the truth with bravery.

This insightful work of non-fiction revives the memory of a country forced to forget the unhealed wounds of the repression and those who never give up in the pursuit of the bull’s eye.

This must-see documentary brings to light, four decades later, the disappearance of hundreds of individuals ordered by the Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco and his cronies.

After Franco’s passing in 1975, the new administration offered to the killers, abusers, torturers amnesty. That atrocity was called the “Pact of Forgetting.” The agreement certainly did not do any justice to the thousands of victims, who after their disenchantment, had to go out of their country to prosecute globally.

The “Pact of Forgiveness” is forbidden by the UN. Crimes against humanity cannot be condoned by the statute of limitations of a partisan judiciary power nor fall into mass amnesia, in Spain or any democratic country in the world.

“The Silence of Others” executed a meticulous investigation to identify the victims of those crimes committed by the armed forces – involuntary disappearances, mass graves, and kidnapping newborn babies.

Paradoxically, as it happens with any other government in the world, there are still people who lived comfortably during Franco’s era and feel nostalgia for the right-wing achievements.
Robert Bahar, co-director. The Silence of Others. 

Photo José A. Hermosillo ©2018 Festival in LA
The documentarians Robert Bahar and his wife, Almudena Carracedo, spent seven years working in this project. They used hundreds of hours interviewing people, going to locations, traveling to different countries, and editing the project for fourteen months.
The Silence of Others ©2018 Cinephil.
In this film, time is the main protagonist – war criminals died without serving prison. Cherished characters also died without seeing justice. For instance, the brokenhearted old lady who places flowers on the side of the highway yearning for a missing one, pointing under, where the mass graves are located. Many others still remember their parents, brothers and sisters, and stolen babies.

Spain has countless victims claiming for acknowledgment, lawlessness, and proper compensation. 

Other conscious survivors became activists and fought in the courts. They pressured judges, internationally and keep the cases open. They also found an ally in the Argentinean judge Maria Romilda Servini de Cubria, who traveled to Spain to bring Franco’s generals to a fair trial.

In the international arena, other troubled places in the world followed Spain’s path to justice outside of their borders: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Uganda.

Since it takes too long to have things done in the courts, one can feel hopeless. It seems like moving one step forward, two steps backward. Until one day, people can see the light at the end of a tunnel.
The Silence of Others ©2018 Cinephil
“The Silence of Others” is a splendid documentary produced by a group of very talented people. Their impressive work includes the aesthetics of its stunning cinematography by its co-director Almudena Carracedo. 

The needle-point editing was the responsibility of Ricardo Acosta, Kim Roberts, and Mrs. Carracedo as well. The haunting music was composed by Leonardo Heiblum and Jacobo Lieberman.

Pedro Almodóvar presents this Oscar-worthy documentary, part of the official selection of the Los Angeles Film Festival.
IDA (International Documentary Association) screening. 
Photo Jose A. Hermosillo ©2018 Festival in LA
This winner of the Audience Award at the Berlinale Panorama 2018 and the Pare Audience Award of the International Documentary Association (IDA), is shortlisted in the category of Best Documentary Feature for the Academy Awards 2019. It is scheduled for theatrical release in the USA Spring 2019.
Robert Bahar, director: The Silence of Others. Film critic José A. Hermosillo 
©2018 Festival in LA
“The Silence of the Others” is a cornerstone document that demands justice and democracy. It deserves to be witnessed by everyone, including the younger generation who wants to see a positive change in the world.
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Festival in LA ©2018

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