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The Silence of Others

a film brought to you by the WAKE UP EUROPE Festival – in Turin, across Europe and online

The Silence of Others reveals the epic struggle of victims of Spain’s 40-year dictatorship under General Franco, who continue to seek justice to this day. Filmed over six years, the film follows victims and survivors as they organize the groundbreaking “Argentine Lawsuit” and fight a state-imposed amnesia of crimes against humanity, in a country still divided four decades into democracy.

José Galante cannot and will not accept that his torturer is living only a few metres away from him, unpunished. Maria Martín is fighting to ensure that her mother’s bones are exhumed from a mass grave and buried next to her father’s remains. However, an amnesty law passed by a large majority in the Spanish parliament in 1977 not only guaranteed the release of all political prisoners, but also prohibited prosecution of any of the crimes committed by Franco’s dictatorship. For this reason, many atrocities remain unsolved to this day.

José Galante, in The Silence of Others

José Galante, in The Silence of Others

Over a period of six years, the filmmakers spoke to victims, relatives and human rights lawyers about their long-standing struggle to obtain admissions of guilt and the abolition of the amnesty law. Their film also describes how a movement that began in someone’s kitchen eventually succeeded in gaining sufficient awareness for suppressed injustice that an international trial was held, during which arrest warrants were issued against no fewer than twenty former perpetrators of Franco’s regime. This intelligently edited film suffused by symbolic visuals paints a picture of a still-divided society, torn between forgetting and coming to terms with its past.

Directors: Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar
Director of Photography: Almudena Carracedo
Editing: Kim Roberts, Ricardo Acosta
Music: Leonardo Heiblum, Jacobo Lieberman
Sound Design: Steve Miller
Sound: Robert Bahar
Production Manager: Rocío Cabrera
Executive Producers: Pedro Almodóvar, Agustín Almodóvar, Esther García, Justine Nagan, Chris White, Sally Jo Fifer, Sandie Viquez Pedlow
Producers: Robert Bahar, Almudena Carracedo

Festival theme: the rise of the far-right

An alliance of populists and nationalists seem intent on tearing up the fabric of the European project. Brexit is just one symptom of this rupture – but with the likes of the Lega Nord being offered cash from Putin to fund its European Election campaign, or former Trump aides Steve Bannon’s new project “The Movement” trying to create a nationalist ‘revolt’ – it is becoming ever more apparent that nationalists in Europe are getting organised internationally.

These forces breed on fear and xenophobia and are well ahead of most moderate parties in exploiting social media and disinformation to divide and polarise public opinions. Across the political spectrum, there is anxiety that a massive nationalist breakthrough this May could bring back the horrors of conflict and fascism in Europe, a ghost that many thought was buried. Are Europeans waking up to what is at stake?


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