VIFF 2018: The Silence of Others


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      The unarticulated question underlining this powerful, exceptionally well-assembled doc: why do western liberal “democracies” so readily forgive fascism?

      In Spain, where Gen. Franco’s thugs walk freely or even cling to public office, a movement gathers steam to rescind an insane “pact of forgetting” enshrined by law, triggering condescending piety from the government, predictably, but also the attention of the international court. The stories we hear in Silence from the victims of the Franco regime are stomach-turning, though it’s elderly María Martín who carries the greatest symbolic weight, her damaged vocal cords failing to break an urgent whisper as she describes the rape and murder of her mother. The larger battle is for arrests, truth and reconciliation, and the teaching of Spain’s fascist history in schools. All she wants is to relocate her mother’s body from a mass grave beneath a highway. Don’t miss this one.