TRUE TRUTHS. ESTELA´S LIFE

VERDADES VERDADERAS. LA VIDA DE ESTELA

By Nicolás GIL LAVEDRA

ALEPH CINE - as PROD

Drama - Completed 2011

TRUE TRUTHS. ESTELA´S LIFE is the story of Estela de Carloto, the president of Grandmother´s of Plaza de Mayo Association since the dissapearence of her daughter until today. The film is about the transformation over her life and her struggle for the rigth to identity for over 30 years.

    • Year of production
    • 2011
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • ARGENTINA
    • Languages
    • SPANISH
    • Duration
    • 97 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Nicolás GIL LAVEDRA
    • Writer(s)
    • Jorge MAESTRO, María Laura GARGARELLA
    • Producer(s)
    • Fernando SOKOLOWICZ (Aleph Media SRL.)
    • Synopsis
    • According to the dictionary, ‘estela’ (from Italian: ‘stella’) is the trail of disturbed water or air left by the passage of a moving object. There is no better word to define the true Estela who is pure motion, a trail, a trace. Etymologically, the word comes from Latin ‘stela’ and Greek ‘stele’ that also mean column, gravestone (here lies the tragedy of her life) which is also the pole that points towards a path.
      The life of this woman was marked by an unexpected fate, suffered by several women, but which created only one Estela de Carlotto.
      The purpose of this movie is already marked by its title; just as the life of my protagonist was marked by her name. ‘Estela’ is a story of life, the search of a wife, the search of a mother, the search of a grandmother, and the struggle for the ideals of justice, the struggle for reconciliation, for reunions.
      The fate, the paths and the outcomes of life depend on us. This film will reveal the mission of this woman who in her great moments pulled herself together to become what she is now: a world-wide known figure for her huge prestige in the international human rights sphere, who has already been proposed for Nobel Peace Prize twice.
      The life of Estela Barnes de Carlotto, can set an example for any person that has lost someone –and I’m not just referring to those who have lost family members at the hands of the military dictatorship, but any kind of unfair loss– because I can find the deepest values of mankind in the path Estela took to overcome all obstacles.
      This movie will unveil Estela’s past, her transformation process and her present, in the back and forth that will set the rhythm, and not only will it highlight the message but it will also articulate an enthralling climax, suspense included. Always reflecting, artistically, the different periods the character goes through (the seventies mostly).
      As this melodrama unfolds we will see (based on its classic characteristics and subjects, updated to the present day) how in each and every one of those moments she found, both outside and inside, the necessary strength to follow an extraordinary path. This will be presented showing warm images inside her home and more disturbing images in the outside.
      In Estela’s past we will recognize an ‘ordinary’ woman, a schoolteacher, a mother and a wife. I am going to show a woman who is not involved in politics and who dreams about having a big family and manages to do so. However, as her children grow up and decide to get involved in politics, she has to get involved too. In turn, she will start finding her own personal weapons to face and overcome the obstacles life put in her path.
      The second dramatic unit is, precisely, this path. Here is where we will see the three great twists in Estela’s life: the disappearance of her husband, the disappearance of her daughter and the disappearance of her grandson. The building of a character and a personality that stem from an ordinary home but that after loss and frustration find the vital drive to fight against adversity. The search as the main force to follow the path.
      Finally, in the third unit we will see how Estela joins a group of women that clamor for their missing loved ones: ‘The crazy old ladies of Plaza de Mayo’, who don’t know how to face what they are going through. And it is in this very uncertainty where Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo begins to take shape: finding the first missing grandchildren, creating the first Genetic Data Bank in the world, among other achievements. And, of all these women, it is Estela who strives and grows emotionally towards some leadership, which was completely inconceivable even to herself, the ordinary Estela, yesterday’s Estela.
      The Association is still moving on after 30 years. More than 100 grandchildren have already been found, and even if Estela has not found her grandson, the search goes on. The end of the movie marks a new beginning; it marks more than 100 beginnings of a new life, of reunions and returns. Every time a new child is found, it doesn’t only heal a wound of the past but it only helps restitute the foundations of every human being: identity, family and freedom.
      Estela knows that her goal may not be achieved in her lifetime but the flame will not flicker and die. There are many Estelas that she has inspired around her, and we could even say that every member of the audience will carry a seed of Estela inside.
      The story in the lines above is more than just an account of the situations and events in Estela’s life reflected in the film; it is what drives the retelling of this tale. It is the riddle of being able to discover –thanks to the movie– this small and great woman, through the transformation throughout her life.
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