A film by Martin Jönsson and Pontus Hjorthén
Spanish with English Subtitles
"Highly recommended. An engaging and enjoyable viewing experience...The film is well organized, providing solid background information and historical context."
- Educational Media Reviews Online
- Anthropology Review Database
“Highly recommended. It’s documentary dynamite! This is the perfect classroom event: a road-movie documentary with scintillating twenty first-century production values that also respects the ‘old-fashioned’ ones of historical context and investigative rigor… My students were utterly compelled by it in great part because of the endearing presence of the film-makers, Martin Jönsson and Pontus Hjorthén. Their investigative odyssey quickly draws the viewer in, while their gentle humour and quirky intelligence provide the perfect foil for a sombre subject.
…Innovative and stylish as a film, Mari Carmen’s arresting depiction of history in dialogue with the present connects immediately with its audience. It is state-of-the-art documentary-making that understands perfectly that the medium is the message. These innovative qualities, plus its rigor, explain why we’ll be using it on our new Public History MA.”
- Helen Graham, Professor of History, Royal Holloway University of London
AUDIENCE AWARD, Docupolis Barcelona
SPECIAL JURY MENTION. DOCSDF Mexico City
OFFICIAL SELECTION, Göteborg International Film Festival
The End of Silence is a riveting film made by two long-time friends from Sweden, reunited in Spain to explore that part of Spain’s recent past about which the Spanish themselves refuse to speak.
The Spanish Civil War may be decades old, but the wounds and grievances from the conflict continue to haunt Spain. What’s more, after decades of oppression and summary executions, General Francisco Franco — the former fascist leader of Spain — still seems to hold a revered place among many in Spanish culture.
As young children, the filmmakers remember their own prime minister, Olof Palme, promising that the world would judge General Franco and his fascist regime harshly for its murderous brutality. But they find that long after the civil war and Franco’s passing in 1975, Spain is unwilling to confront its tortured past, leaving relatives of victims on both sides to suffer.
Enter Mari Carmen España, whose grandfather was executed by the fascists 70 years ago. She is determined to find the unmarked site of his execution and extinguish the anonymity of his death through official government recognition and proper burial. She comes to symbolize the broad social reconciliation movement within Spain, culminating in The Historical Memory Law passed by the Congress of Deputies to redress the grievances of relatives of victims.
The End of Silence is the story of what happens when a country tries to amputate its past. It is also the uplifting story of what happens when a country takes the courageous step of reconciliation — when it accepts the burden of truth to start the process of national healing.
This is a film of deep pathos and great meaning as many societies work to resolve the ghosts of past conflicts.