Silvia looks dazzling in the old VHS footage of her wedding in the early 1980s—she’s a beautiful woman about to embark on a promising future with a diplomat husband, and a comfortable house to live in. The home videos that follow show more highlights from her life: her first wedding anniversary, her daughters growing up, and the farewell party at the embassy.
Meanwhile, the audio commentary offers a very different reality. The film’s director María Silvia Esteve is the middle one of Silvia’s daughters, and she and her siblings talk about their parents’ gradual descent into a spiral of angry clashes, psychological problems and prescription drugs. By recounting events from their childhood, they try to get a handle on what went wrong in their family. And they wonder why their mother, with whom they had a very close relationship, never managed to improve the situation or leave their father.
Esteve uses VHS footage in an original way, combining it with cut-up quotes, excerpts from her mother’s favorite film, and classical music to construct a poetic family chronicle about memory, powerlessness and keeping up appearances.