January 28, 2019  (Web Review)

From Silence to the Word

(2017) 78 min. In Spanish w/English subtitles. DVD: $250. Yo Creo Content (avail. from (www.yocreocontent.com/distribution/). PPR.

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

“Democide” is a term that was conjured up in the mid-1990s to encompass policies by governments that result in the deaths of those governments’ own people. While genocide obviously fits the definition, there are many other possibilities, including purges of perceived enemies of a state. Ignacio Castresana Fernández is a Spanish filmmaker who—at age 40—discovered some facts about his late father and grandfather, both of whom disappeared during Franco’s ascension to Fascist power during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Digging deep into hidden history, Fernández learns that each man was subject to the harshest penalty for their real or presumed political affiliations. As Fernández widens his scope on Spain’s cultural and official penchant for squelching investigations of Fascist injustices, he reveals popular efforts to uncover mass graves and establish a truth commission. It turns out that more people were “disappeared” and killed by the Spanish government than most realize. A powerful investigative documentary that examines a larger problem through a personal lens, this is recommended. Aud: C, P. (T. Keogh)