How to make the invisible visible? In the first half hour of Dormant, we follow the rise of Argentinian lawyer and politician Juan Gabriel Labaké, who backed Carlos Menem and his Peronist party in the 1990s. Home videos shot by his wife show Labaké traveling, on the campaign trail, and at home with his family.
Suddenly we tumble into the present (that much is clear from the superior quality of the footage) and we see the film’s true protagonists for the first time. Now it is Labaké’s granddaughter Natalia operating the camera, and pointing it at the women in this family—especially her sister Agustina and aunt Bibiana, both of whom only appear in supporting roles in her grandmother’s home movies from the 1990s. “Bibi” whiles away her days in a rest home, while Agustina, who suffers from anxiety, still lives at home. The two of them try to shake each other out of their lethargy.
Natalia Labaké inventively alternates between old and new footage to show how the disregard for women that was inherent in past political visions still impacts on women in contemporary Argentina.