Alfredo Stroessner was the longest ruling dictator on the South American continent, controlling Paraguay from 1954 to 1989 with an iron fist. Opponents were imprisoned, tortured or killed.
In Guapo’y, Celsa, now in her 60s, looks back on that horrific period. Forty-five years ago, pregnant with her son, she was imprisoned and tortured. Later she learned that her husband had also been tortured and then murdered. After eight years, she was reunited with her mother, who herself had been imprisoned, and the two women talk about the traumatic past. We also hear the perspective of Celsa’s son. Celsa fights the demons in her mind with homemade herbal infusions and herbs applied to her body. The beauty of nature, which provides the herbs she carefully gathers, contrasts starkly with the horrific memories.
The past seeps into the present when what may be the remains of Celsa’s husband are found beneath a house that once belonged to Stroessner. Frighteningly, the current president, Mario Abdo Benítez, grandson of Stroessner’s personal secretary, openly praises the politics of the former dictator.
Nominated for IDFA Award for Best First Feature