The Silence of Others
Impact | VIFF Impact
A six-year quest to break "the silence of others," Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar’s urgent documentary chronicles the attempts by victims of Franco’s murderous 36-year dictatorship in Spain to gain justice and restitution. Unlike other countries that have gone through a "truth and reconciliation" process in the wake of a dictatorship, Spain still has not done so—indeed, there are still statues of the Generalissimo in some smaller towns around the country.
Beginning in 2010, when victims of the regime filed a lawsuit in Argentina requesting that perpetrators be tried for crimes against humanity, Carracedo and Bahar’s scrupulous work alternates between big-picture issues—for example, the injustice that arose from the 1977 post-Franco court decision to offer a blanket amnesty for crimes committed during the regime—and the specific stories of individuals like José María Galante, a torture victim who now finds himself living on the same Madrid street as the man who tortured him. The courage displayed by Galante and others, all senior citizens now, as they stand up and fight gives The Silence of Others an emotional weight that is deeply affecting.
"Unfolding with all the force of a classic political thriller by Costa-Gavras or Francesco Rosi, the film also has a comparable number of twists and turns as the Spanish government does everything it can to halt proceedings… A thought-provoking journey… The Silence of Others emerges as a moving salute to the small victories of determined individuals."—Allan Hunter, Screen
Audience Award, Panorama, Berlin 18