Sometimes you have to reopen a wound and let it bleed before it can fully heal. In director César Díaz’s new drama Our Mothers/Nuestras madres, the trauma of the Guatemalan Civil War is brought to light four decades later. The film addresses the emotional damage that the Guatemalan genocide caused those who were left behind. Guerilla fighters were brutally killed and buried in unmarked graves. Their wives were imprisoned, tortured and raped.
Ernesto (Armando Espitia), a young and idealistic anthropologist, is devoting his life’s work to reunited the dead with the living. His motivations go far beyond mere benevolence. Ernesto’s own father was one of the many fighters who went missing. As he searches for his father’s grave site, his mother, Cristina (Emma Dib), refuses to participate and keeps the story of her trauma closely guarded. In the search for his father, Ernesto is about to uncover the truth about himself.
“In Guatemalan Indian oral tradition things must be spoken for them to exist. When a newcomer arrives in a village, that person is told what happened at this place so that it is never forgotten.”Director César Díaz
Our Mothers/Nuestras madres channels the grief of a hurting nation. The film is set in 2018 when war crimes of the late ’70s and early ’80s were finally being brought to trial. The story is inspired by filmmaker César Díaz’s own journey to learn about his father, a guerilla fighter who died during the Civil War. While a male protagonist and a male filmmaker guide the story, the film is essentially about the women, survivors of the Guatemalan genocide who were tortured and raped and left without the closure needed to properly mourn a lost loved one. Don’t be put off by the heavy subject matter. Our Mothers/Nuestras madres is more hopeful than it is depressing. There is a sense throughout the story that these characters are finally going to heal their emotional wounds and move forward with their lives.
Our Mothers/Nuestras madres is available through virtual cinemas nationwide. Visit the official website for more information.