Directed by Claudia Santiago, this short film narrates the most moving and crucial moments following the disappearances of the 43 Normalist students, thanks to the first-hand accounts from the protesters who filled the streets of Mexico with candles, images of the disappeared students and an outcry that made the whole country shake for months. At the same time, it shows the opinions of different experts on political topics and how these protests, while not an isolated event, mark the beginning of the end of an indifference that had plagued Mexicans in the previous generations.
Portraits of a Search (Documentary)
Alicia Calderón presented within the frame of Mexicomorphosis, her documentary Portraits of a Search yesterday afternoon. Three mothers, three different stories: a grandmother who takes care of her grandson while she maintains hopes of finding her lost daughter, a mother who has taken the search for her son into her own hands and a woman who fights tirelessly to obtain the justice that many Mexicans have been begging for decades.
Cinema is capable of tearing down barriers and making us feel what the people inside the screen who are telling their stories are feeling. In this documentary, the audience was able to see and understand the despair, wrath and pain that these three women (and thousands of others) feel every day that their loved ones remain missing. Touching on a subject matter as delicate as this one isn’t easy, but certainly necessary. It may seem like a one-sided topic at first sight, but it’s something that affects our daily life. There is no specific data on the disappearance within the country and much less legislative paths that can be taken to help the families obtain justice.
Alicia Calderón, who practiced as a journalist before she began this Project, spoke of the inspiration that pushed her toward producing this documentary that took three years to finish: “We decided to do it because our preparation is mostly journalistic. It’s our job to worry about what’s happening, we went to protests as participants and reporters and we realized that many of the protesters were parents of missing people. There wasn’t a legal path to take during disappearances, which is why these people got the courage together to go to a square, pick up a microphone and talk about their stories because it was the only way they could be heard.”
Sharing these stories is no easy task. Besides the physical exhaustion of filming, there is an emotional exhaustion that’s not limited to documentary’s subjects. Regardless, these three women not only shared their pain, they showed their perseverance and their strength. Many of them, even after finding their missing children, keep going in the fight that seeks an answer to every case within it, the face of someone who disappeared.
These two productions will be screened again at Cinemex in Guanajuato City on Saturday July 25th at 4:00 pm.
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