The Silence of Others

2018 [SPANISH]


Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright83%
IMDb Rating8.0102127

woman directorspainjusticefascismlawsuit

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


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878.51 MB
Spanish 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.76 GB
Spanish 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S 3 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Lejink8 / 10

Let Sleeping Dogs Of War Lie...?

I've lived in Spain for almost four years and am seeking to broaden my knowledge of its history, particularly its political and social history since the Spanish Civil War of 1936. Of course, the dictator Franco and his fellow Nationalists won the war and he then ruled the country until 1975 when the country moved, not without some difficulty (there was even an attempted right-wing coup in 1981) towards its current democratic status with the restoration of the constitutional monarchy. As part of that transitional process, a bill was introduced and almost unanimously passed by the new government, proposing the release of all political prisoners and importantly, for the purposes of this film, a complete amnesty for any crimes committed on both sides during the war and the succeeding decades of Franco's rule.

And here indeed is the crux of the film, should the perpetrators of torture, execution and mass burial in unmarked graves of political and / or military opponents, now stand trial for their acts or does the newly-christened "Politics Of Forgetting" wipe the slate clean for all such acts during the notoriously brutal war and by all accounts similarly repressive deeds overseen by those in power on dissenting citizens afterwards. We also learn in this documentary of another heinous official practice in which the state forcibly removed newborn babies of mothers deemed unsuitable for whatever reason to bring up their child, placing the infants with new families whose status and political leanings were somehow deemed more correct for their upbringing.

The film highlights a number of remarkable individuals fighting for what they see as retrospective justice. It begins with the story of a determined little old lady whose mother was murdered by the Republicans when was only a six year old child. The impact of being orphaned so young, together with the background circumstance, has clearly never left her and her anger and determination to obtain justice is palpable. Other stories are then presented before us, a man tortured terribly in his youth by an identified individual still alive and coincidentally living in the same street as him today, another elderly woman who wishes to repatriate and formally bury her father who was shot and killed with many others in a wholesale execution and thrown into an unmarked mass grave.

However right at the start of the film we see clips of interviews with the current Spanish King and two recent prime ministers each defending the Amnesty Law and urging the complainants to effectively forget and forgive the acts against them. They and presumably many others believe that this was the best course of action for Spain as a newly-restored democratic country to move on in the future but should the amnesty waive liability for the more horrific acts carried out by certain individuals and should they now be brought to book, even long decades later?

It's a very difficult question and one I've seen played out closer to home with a similar amnesty passed by the U. K. government in its Good Friday Peace Agreement to end the conflict in Northern Ireland although here the film draws parallels with South American countries like Chile, Peru and Argentina all similarly run by dictators and with similar tales of inhuman treatment of certain of its citizens.

I would have appreciated longer interviews with the defenders of the policy for balance sake but have to admit that my heart was with the various complainants here. By the end of the film they achieve small victories but only by taking their case to a sympathetic Argentinian judge. However, although we see the extremely moving exhumation of a war grave which gives balm to the surviving family members and official street names altered so as to not commemorate Franco and other prominent pro-Nationalist individuals of the time, still the identified living individuals who orchestrated and carried out so many horrendous crimes are protected by the law.

This documentary unavoidably left many questions unanswered in a matter which clearly still divides the country even now as there is clearly still a strong pro-Franco faction in Spain today. Nevertheless, while it was fascinating for me to learn the background to this controversial issue, by its end I know where my sympathies lay. Even in the heat of war, acts of genocide, barbarism and inhumanity must surely always be brought to book.

Today I watched a Russian tank deliberately run over a car being driven by a Ukrainian citizen in an indefensible act of cold-blooded murderous cruelty. That tank commander will likely get off scot-free no matter the outcome of the Russian invasion.

In my opinion though, not all is fair in war...

Reviewed by AJ_McAninch8 / 10

Wanted More

Riveting, heartbreaking, and well done, My only reservation is I wish it had been longer or a series, with more details. I felt I needed and wanted to know more about the people and the outcomes.

Reviewed by caramia20028 / 10

Good Introduction

I very much liked this documentary while watching it. I have little knowledge of this issue (other than Franco being barely to the left of Hitler, his ally during WWII, with similar racial policies),as it has been forgotten or tried to be by almost everyone, esp the US, as Spain was a needed ally for a military base, and a handy anti-communist state (oh the terrible right wing regimes we have backed for that reason!). There was a lot of satire about Franco in the 70s, and then Juan Carlos after that, particularly by Sat Night Live, but other than that, not much info going around.

This is a very focused film, only about the lawsuit filed in 2010, and I appreciate that. It is very well done and doesn't pander to the viewer's sympathies. It is only near the end that the emotional intensity is raised. Now I'm ready to learn more about both sides. I see in the critical reviews, some predictably claiming that both sides did things, which is the usual defense of these things, as well as the accusation of "revenge" aimed at the victims or families of Franco's regime, as if that makes hundreds of thousands killed and tortured by Franco's (and following) regime ok. But my further research (don't look to Wikipedia, strangely lacking on this matter) will enlighten me. I will search for other docs on this matter and the history of the Spanish Civil War and following era.

As the families of murder victims know, there is little closure if the body is not found, or the murderer are not found or tried and/or punished. War crimes involve the addition of mass graves and that the families know exactly how their loved ones were jailed, tortured, and murdered. For their beliefs (not any better than someone being murdered for the change in their pockets). The real shame here is in the last grave shown and that Franco and his minions learned from the fate of their friends Hitler and the Nazis.

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