Spain, USA 2018

Synopsis

THE SILENCE OF OTHERS reveals the urgent and ongoing 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 organise the groundbreaking “Argentine Lawsuit” and fight a state-imposed amnesia of crimes against humanity, in a country still divided four decades into democracy.

Directors Statement

In 2010, the story of Spain’s “stolen children” began to come out. The story of these crimes, with roots in the early days of Franco’s rule, led us to explore the marginalisation and silencing of victims of many Franco-era crimes, ranging from extrajudicial killings at the end of the Spanish Civil War to torture that took place as recently as 1975.

As we began to learn more, we were baffled by basic questions: how could it be that Spain, unlike other countries emerging from repressive regimes, had had no Nuremberg Trials, no Truth and Reconciliation Commission, no national reckoning? Why, instead, was a “pact of forgetting” forged in Spain? And what were the consequences of that pact, 40 years into democracy, for the still-living victims of Franco’s dictatorship?

When we began filming the process of the “Argentine lawsuit” in 2012, which challenged this status quo, few thought that it would amount to much. But as we filmed those early meetings, we could see that the lawsuit was stirring up something vital, transforming victims and survivors into organizers and plaintiffs and bringing out dozens, and then hundreds, of testimonies from all over Spain. As the number of testimonies snowballed, the case was building into a persuasive argument about crimes against humanity that demanded international justice.

We thus discovered that THE SILENCE OF THE OTHERS was going to be a story about possibilities, about trying to breach a wall, and that, rather than focusing on what had happened in the past, it would be all about what would happen in the future. We also saw that the film would embody great passion and urgency because, for many of the plaintiffs, this case would offer the last opportunity in their lifetimes to be heard.

Director's Biography

Almudena Carracedo
Born in Madrid, Spain, Almudena developed her professional career in the US, where she directed and produced her debut film, the Emmy-winning feature documentary MADE IN L.A. In 2012, Almudena returned to her native Spain to begin work on THE SILENCE OF OTHERS, in collaboration with Robert Bahar. After seven years of work, THE SILENCE OF OTHERS premiered at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), where it won both the Audience Award (Panorama) and the Peace Film Prize.
Previously, her short documentary WELCOME, A DOCU-JOURNEY OF IMPRESSIONS, won Silverdocs' Sterling Prize. Almudena is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Creative Capital Fellow, a Sundance Time Warner Documentary Fellow, a United States Artists Fellow, and the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Director's Biography

Robert Bahar
Robert is the Emmy-winning producer/writer of the feature documentary MAADE IN L.A., and spearheaded the three-year impact campaign that brought the film to audiences around the world. In 2012 Robert re-located to Spain to direct and produce THE SILENCE OF OTHERS, in collaboration with Almudena Carracedo. After seven years of work, THE SILENCE OF OTHERS premiered at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), where it won
both the Audience Award (Panorama) and the Peace Film Prize.Originally from Philadelphia, Robert previously produced and directed the documentary LAID TO WASTE, produced the short documentary MEET JOE GAY, and line produced several independent films. He is a Creative Capital Fellow, a Sundance Documentary Fellow, and holds an MFA from USC’s School of Cinema-Television
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Cast & Crew

Directed by : Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar

Written by : Ricardo Acosta, Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar, Kim Roberts

Produced by : Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar

Director of Photography : Almudena Carracedo

Editor : Kim Roberts, Ricardo Acosta

Composer : Leonardo Heiblum, Jacobo Lieberman

Sound Design : Steve Miller

Nominations and Awards

  • European Documentary 2018
  • EFA Documentary Selection 2018