La Isla

La Isla

           La Isla – Archive of a tragedy
               Genre: Documentary
               Guatemala, disappearance, police, genocide, archive
  Incredible 36 years of civil war in Guatemala lasted, which extended from 1960 until the year 1996. In it, fought four leftist guerrilla groups (grouped in the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca) against the changing military juntas, in the course of the conflict between 150000-250000 people (mostly indigenous civilians) abducted and murdered. Despite the tragedy of enormous proportions, the crimes have gone unpunished to this day, because a wall of silence erected around the atrocities and evidence for the genocide have been systematically suppressed. This only changed when in 2005 a massive explosion rocked Guatemala City. As the dust cloud lay in the wreckage was discovered in the secret archives of the National Police, in which the crimes had been recorded in minute detail. The site of today’s police academy, where the explosion occurred housed, formerly “La Isla”, the secret prison of the Policia Nacional, which was the central place of the decades of unjust regimes. Since that time has a group of young people – most of them are the survivors of murder victims and missing persons – it made the 80 million to sift through some of the destroyed files and then the wall of silence and the curse rid of Oblivion. And at the same time shaken the search for truth and the documentation of the foundations of the society of the country because many of the former offenders are still in office and still rank among the elite of the country. The filmmaker Uli Stenzel, who was the first director ever to access the archive, devoted to the tireless struggle for the truth of his film La Isla – Archive of a tragedy. It is a very impressive film made, which shows that educational force today can be still in documentaries. In sometimes almost seemingly poetic images makes Stelzner the horror and pain, but also the spirit of optimism and tireless struggle of the descendants of the guerrillas clearly noticeable, it is the countless victims of the oppression her face and her voice and the whole Land to be a collective memory back. How much scratching of the film on a taboo subject that would hushed up in Guatemala is still preferred by many stakeholders, also show the circumstances that occurred at the premiere in Guatemala: In advance of the film, there was bomb threats and massive obstacles such as the capping of the power of cinema, the first performance could not prevent it. With the widespread media coverage, which is La Isla in Guatemala, hopefully, is a rethink in the whole population, for that reason alone this film for the small Central American country is truly “the most important film in Guatemala for decades,” as the magazine Siglo XXI writes. (Joachim Kurz)
  Title: La Isla – Archive of a tragedy Original Title: La Isla: Archives of a Tragedy Country of production: Germany, Guatemala Year of Production: (# ) 2009 Length: 85 (Min.) Distribution: without luggage filmproduktion / ISKA

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