Film screening (91 minutes; English and Spanish, with English subtitles) followed by a Q&A session with Ana Lucía Cuevas, the film’s director. This event will serve as a preamble to the one-day conference The Right to Truth, Justice and Reparation in Latin America (4 June 2013). Download the call for papers here.
In ‘The Echo of Pain of the Many’ we witness a moving, thought-provoking and rare documentary by a Latin American woman, recording her return from exile and into the still dangerous and volatile political environment of contemporary Guatemala. Filmed over the course of four years, writer-director Ana Lucia Cuevas discovers, through the archived records of the perpetrators of the crimes themselves, the involvement of her own government and foreign Intelligence Services in the abduction, torture and murders of her brother and his young family. At each stop on what becomes an emotional and investigative as well as cinematic journey, from meeting with political analyst Noam Chomsky in the USA, on to travelling across the breadth of Guatemala, visiting police archives, mass ‘clandestine’ graves, indigenous communities who have suffered genocide, and the first trials in over 25 years of those responsible, one piece after another of this puzzle of a personal and national tragedy is brought into focus by the filmmaker. This remarkable debut feature documentary is also, in equal parts, a forensic examination of historical evidence, and a testament to how the endurance of love can overcome fear in one woman’s, and a nation’s search for justice and an end to impunity. ‘The Echo’ is a remarkable story of one family, but provides the starting point and context to understand the tragic events that led, in Guatemala, to their 45,000 ‘disappearances’ amongst civilians and the political opposition to dictatorship.
Ana Lucía Cuevas was born, in 1963, into an era of political dictatorship and repression of any opposition voices in her native Guatemala. As all of her family were engaged as members of the political opposition, from her early school days she had the experience of family friends being assassinated by successive military regimes, and her family becoming the focus of their intimidation and threats. In early 1984, a University education, 12 years as part of a ballet company, and her home and friends were out of necessity left behind as she was forced into political exile. Two months after she left, her brother Carlos was disappeared. In exile Ana Lucia has continued for over a quarter of a century to be engaged in the collective search for justice in Guatemala, campaigning for the rescue of the ‘historical memory.’ After completing her BA in Bulgaria, and a Masters in Digital Media at Goldsmiths (London), she combined campaigning work for justice in Guatemala with becoming a mother, and a career in social documentary filmmaking in Honduras, Britain and Guatemala. The Echo of Pain of the Many (2011-12) is her first feature-length documentary.
Admission to this event is free. For any enquiries, please contact Ainhoa Montoya firstname.lastname@example.org