Human Rights Watch Festival 2019: Our Review Of ‘The Silence of Others’

Human Rights Watch Festival 2019: Our Review Of ‘The Silence of Others’

Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar’s The Silence of Others has razor sharp focus. That’s essential in a documentary that has a large scope. Sure, this is about the history of Franco’s regime and its effects on contemporary Spain. But it also shows footage of atrocities that soldiers during Pinochet era Chile committed.

These soldiers were grabbing innocent women by the hair to send them to jail. Pinochet eventually faced prosecution in Spain from Spanish lawyers that Franco imprisoned. These lawyers saw how they can prosecute other genocidal dictators. And now they seek justice for the many atrocities they experienced in their country.

The Silence of Others also subverts the idea that the left had won in Spain. It’s true that the country now has a left wing government and its cinema represent that ideology. But instead of a leftist victory, most of the people who ran the government were pro-Franco.

It then also taps into the universality of how a society celebrates their oppressors. The movie takes time to show the pro-Franco monuments that were still intact when the doc started shooting. This is reminiscent of streets and monuments here celebrating those who committed genocide against the First Nations people.

The country tries to silence Franco’s survivors. Combating that, the film follows the plaintiffs suing Franco’s generals like ‘Billy the Kid’. The doc handles these meetings with sensitivity, waiting for these subjects to settle before they can testify. They also note how these first meetings need more attendants to remember what the country endured.

The doc follows the six year long process. Its goal isn’t just to prosecute these generals and to collect plaintiffs. These plaintiffs are also suing so they can reunite with their love ones, dead or alive. To correct historical wrongs lest everyone forgets what happened.

  • Release Date: 4/3/2019
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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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