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Silent Voices/ Forgotten Places – Contemporary Cinema of Central America

13th January 2018 @ 12:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Birkbeck Institute
Silent Voices/ Forgotten Places - Contemporary Cinema of Central America @ Birkbeck Institute

In the last decade, the film industry in Central America has flourished into a wave of unique voices and bold storytelling. Join us for the UK premiere screening of Invasion (Abner Benaim, Panama, 2014, 94 mins) and The Offended (Marcela Zamora, El Salvador, 2016, 85 mins), two documentaries from Central America, both exploring the formation of a nation’s collective memory and the impact it has on its people. This will be followed by a panel discussion exploring important questions such as the role of cinema in building a cultural identity; the film festival as a source of funding; and the challenges facing film production and distribution in the globalized market.

While the Latin American film market continues to be dominated by Hollywood films, this programme aims to go against the mainstream and support new voices and new visions building a strong cultural presence for the region.

Invasion (Abner Benaim, 2014, Panama, 94 mins)

The first documentary hails from Panama and recounts the tragic 1989 US invasion. The film presents accounts from those tasked with military defence, journalists, historians, innocent civilians and even the former dictator Manuel Noriega. Invasionis a daring and intelligent film which sets out not to make a historical reconstruction but to explore the mechanisms through which memory is turned into history and how the recent past shapes the identity of a new Panama.

The Offended (Marcela Zamora, 2016, El Salvador, 85 mins)

In her latest film, Marcela Zamora dissects the atrocities of the civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s. Zamora breaks the silence of both the generation who lived through the period and the generation that followed who fear reopening old wounds. Illustrated with shocking archive footage Zamora’s testimony, as well as that of others who suffered a similar fate, provides insight into the emotive stories of those people affected by the repercussions of the war.

Organised in collabaoration with NFTS.

Click here for more information about the event.