César Díaz

    13. 11. 2019

    After Liffe’s first screening, Our Mothers by César Díaz, Damijan Vinter conducted a Q&A session with lead actor Armando Espitia. Whilst coming from Mexico and not Guatemala, where the movie was shot, Espitia was instantly drawn to the script about redressing the evil committed by Guatemalan army. According to the actor, the topic of the genocide had been intriguing him all his life, he had been transfixed by the images of the wars in the Balkans broadcast in the news during his childhood; he had found the images of the wailers uttering high-pitched cries especially haunting, because people mourn differently in Latin America. Members of the audience likewise linked Yugoslav Wars with Guatemalan military violence. Nevertheless, the film does not show only the genocide against indigenous population, but primarily the atrocities perpetrated by the military against the revolutionary guerrilla fighters.

    At the audition, Espirita and the director identified various similarities between the script of Our Mothers and a novel about the wars in the Balkans. Through the protagonist, the director expressed two autobiographic aspects; firstly, the qualms about his homeland which he left to move to Belgium, and secondly, the relationship between the protagonist and his mother. Philosopher Eva Bahovec wondered whether the disinterest of the locals in the film resulted from the genocide denial, but Espirita didn’t share her opinion. The actor brilliantly portrayed the empathy, and the community of communists was depicted through warm interpersonal relationships that transcended the strictly family ties. The director juxtaposed military brutality – with the help of both professional actors and convincing untrained actors – with a noble idea and the importance of co-existence. The viewers warmly welcomed both the actor and the film.

    Written by Nataša Šušteršič

    Photo Iztok Dimc