Cuchillo de palo

Cuchillo de palo

Cuchillo de palo

               Genre: Documentary
               Homosexuality, dictatorship, Berlinale 2010, Paraguay, homophobia

The knife made of wood

  Seeing Renate Costa was the last time her uncle, Rodolfo, he lay dead on the floor in his apartment. He was naked, the apartment empty. Even his clothes were gone. At that time, the girl said her uncle had died of sadness. A decade later, making the young filmmaker with a camera, to determine the fate of her uncle – a fate that she has never been released. Rodolfo was a “cuchillo de palo”, a knife made of wood, it is called in Paraguay someone who is useless. Another name that was given to him during the period of dictatorship was 108th This figure represents 108 men who were then accused on a public list of homosexuality. On another list, which contained many more men, was also Rodolfo. This public outing took away his last bit of dignity and protection in a homophobic society, moreover banned for fear of a mad dictator everything that does not fit into their worldview. This exclusion from the life went so far that Rodolfo’s family did not even know what he does for his money.

Costas attempted reclamation of her own family tragedy, is also an experiment, the traumatic experiences of the dictatorship in Paraguay edit them. This is especially evident how much the company today is still trapped in intolerance, silence and passivity. Most people with whom to share memories of Costa tries to her uncle to try to avoid. You do not want to remember, you do not want to talk about it. It is almost unbearable as Costa’s father tried the life and death of his brother’s good to talk. As Costa papers from the archives brings home, which clearly show that Roldolfo sitting in prison, her father will not believe anyway. Prison at the time of the Stroessner dictatorship always meant torture, abuse, and often death. All this will not know the family, Costa talks and argues with people who do not want to deal with the past and deal with. But she also finds audience. When she goes into the small, still lying hidden gay scene in Asunción, she finds friends and lovers of her uncle, who despite all the fear and pain are all reclamation work.

Cuchillo de palo is not just a film about the tragedy of a gay man and a traumatized society. It is above all a portrait of the lack of dealing with the dark past, a situation that is very reminiscent of the Germany of the 1950s and 1960s. No one has seen it, no one has noticed. And just like that time in Germany a new generation of young people now starting to ask tough questions Paraguay. Especially for the German audience earned a subtext here, again warned the deal with his past. That this development in Paraguay has yet to go a long way, evidenced by Costas trying to talk with her father plaintext. In the end they can only give up and realize for themselves the truth. But that has consequences. How can they even laconically observed from the off unedited – a sort of history, leaving behind irreparable damage.

(Beatrice Behn)

Title: Cuchillo de palo Country of production: Spain Year of production: 2010 Length: 95 (Min)

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