Absence of Me

Ausencia de mí

  • Melina Terribili
  • Argentina
  • 2018
  • 82 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

Hundreds of boxes left behind by the celebrated Uruguayan musician and political activist Alfredo Zitarrosa (1936-1989), who fled dictatorship in the 1970s, have not been touched since his death 27 years ago. Now his wife and daughters are trying to save the memorabilia, films, and music and sound recordings the boxes contain for posterity. Some photos have already deteriorated, which only makes them more poetic and nostalgic.

Absence of Me uses this treasure trove of material to paint an original picture of the pain of living in exile. We see black-and-white photos of demonstrators and menacing soldiers, and confrontations between them, while the audio features gentle birdsong and Zitarrosa’s contented voice. His wise thoughts emerge from interviews or tapes he sent home to his family. He explains that he feels a deep connection with everything around him. Away from Uruguay, where his music is banned, he can’t find inspiration. In his heart, he returns to his homeland every day.


  • 82 min
  • color / black and white
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles in: English
Melina Terribili
Maximiliano Dubois for Bella Sombra
Melina Terribili
Valeria Racioppi
Joaquín Rajadel

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

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IDFA history

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