The Silence of Others
Francisco Franco was a military dictator who ruled in Spain for almost 40 years. He died on November 20, 1975, but his legacy continues to inspire debate 43 years after his death, and the many victims of his dictatorship marked by violence and oppression are yet to find peace… and justice. The story of these victims is portrayed in the award-winning documentary The Silence of Others, which will be screened in London on Saturday, 27th October as part of the event Hot Docs London.
The Silence of Others is a story of unresolved pain. Filmed over six years, it follows the survivors of the dictatorship in their fight against a state-imposed amnesia regarding the oppression, torture, and murder of an estimated 100,000 people. These crimes, committed during Franco’s dictatorship, were pardoned by the Spanish government in 1977 with the passing of an amnesty law known as the “pact of forgetting”, which prohibits legal action against Francoist crimes and human rights violations in an attempt to make the Spanish people forget the atrocities committed by the State during the 20th century. But for the parents of kidnapped children, and the children of disappeared parents, and the other thousands of victims of the dictatorship, forgetting is simply impossible.
The characters in The Silence of Others fight a battle to get admissions of guilt for the crimes committed by Franco’s government, organising the groundbreaking “Argentine Lawsuit”. Taking inspiration from justice-seekers in Chile and Guatemala, they turn to an Argentinian court to seek justice and be heard. The film also tells the story of a country deeply divided which struggles to make peace with its past four decades into democracy.
The Silence of Others is the second documentary feature by Emmy-winning filmmakers Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar. It is being Executive Produced by the internationally acclaimed Spanish film-makers Pedro Almodóvar, Agustín Almodóvar, and Esther García.
This screening is a great opportunity to learn about Spain’s history, and to understand how the country’s dark past continues to influence its present. It will be screened at 8.30pm on the 27th of October, and tickets are already available on the Bertha DocHouse website.
Meanwhile, you will be able to read more about Francoist Spain in this week’s Noticias de la Semana, La sombra de la dictadura.