La Isla - Archives of a Tragedy

    La isla Guatemala: Archive einer Tragödie

    • Uli Stelzner
    • Germany, Guatemala
    • 2009
    • 85 min
    • World Premiere
    • Panorama
    Two years ago, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, an explosion in a building brought to light the archives of the secret police. This meant that an investigation could commence into the hidden history of this Latin American country, from the military coup of 1954 to the end of the civil war in 1996. What happened, for example, to the approximately 45,000 people who went missing? In this subdued film, young Guatemalans in white gloves and face masks work their way through the archives. The U.S.-supported dictatorship had set up an extensive program of elimination against the opposition, complete with death squads. Surviving relatives of untraceable "revolutionaries" and "communists" study documents that reveal the fate of their loved ones. It turns out that thousands were dumped anonymously at a cemetery. The archive also contains horrific photographs of mutilated bodies, and reports record the voltages used during torture. During interrogations, the police cut wounds into the soles of suspects who were then forced to walk over salt. A short film shows young "subversive elements" disappearing into pits. The relatives appear more sad than embittered, as they are relieved to finally have answers. Calmly, they talk about the facts that have come to light.

    Credits

    • 85 min
    • color / black and white
    • video
    • Spoken languages: Spanish
    • Subtitles in: English
    Director
    Uli Stelzner
    Production
    Zoran Solomun for Ohne Gepack, Uli Stelzner for ISKA
    Co-production
    Uli Stelzner
    Cinematography
    Guillermo Escalón
    Editing
    Alina Teodorescu

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