IU Cinema screened the film “The Silence of Others” at 7 p.m. Thursday to kick off the fourth InLight Film Festival. The IFF, which began in 2015 and is returning from a year-long hiatus, is a festival run entirely by IU students that aims to showcase films and filmmakers who tackle issues of human rights.
“IU Cinema is committed to supporting Indiana University students in many different ways, including part-time employment, programming and event production opportunities,” associate director of IU Cinema Brittany Friesner said in an email. “The IFF is presented by IU graduate students and through the organization of the festival, students are given unique opportunities to gain experience in programming, event production, marketing and many more areas.”
“The Silence of Others” is a 2018 documentary which, in keeping with the festival’s theme of human rights issues, revolves around survivors of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco who seek justice for the crimes their country is all too willing to forget.
“We programmed the film because of its aesthetic qualities and its ability to speak to an ongoing struggle over the history and memory of human rights abuses in 20th century Spain,” Joseph Wofford, the director of the InLight Film Festival, said. “The film follows survivors of the Franco dictatorship and their descendants as they pursue a legal challenge to a Spanish amnesty law that has allowed the human rights abuses conducted during that era to go unpunished.”
Filmed over the course of six years, the film’s subjects attempt to overturn the 1977 amnesty that was granted to the officials who participated in the tortures, disappearances and kidnappings that were common during Franco’s reign.
The screening of the film was followed by a Q&A with one of the film’s co-directors, Almudena Carracedo, and dealt with many of the film’s themes regarding historical accountability, as well as providing insight into the production process itself.
“The film presents a powerful story about the ways in which we often adopt forgetful attitudes toward history out of perceived necessity,” Wofford said. “While the film acts as a means to preserve and remember the past, its real strength is as a meditation on forgetting.”
The IFF will continue through this Saturday, with a total of five films showcased at the cinema. Each film centers around differing groups of people from around the globe, including inhabitants of Easter Island and West-African migrants in Brussels, all in a variety of languages.
“Our mission is to promote powerful films that speak to contemporary issues and to bring the knowledge and experience of a diverse group of filmmakers to the attention of the IU and Bloomington communities,” Wofford said. “Each screening at this year's festival will be accompanied by a representative from the film who will participate in discussions that will start with a post-film Q&A and continue outside the cinema.”
All five of the films showcased as part of the IFF will be free for everyone. Additional information regarding these showings and more is available on the IU Cinema website. Tickets are available for these showings online, at the IU Auditorium Box Office or in the IU Cinema Lobby an hour before each showing.