By Gabriela PENA


Family - Completed 2020

I discovered that in my childhood in Chile and Barcelona, you were filmed only behind the doors, blurred in your daily life as a Mapuche nanny. After 20 years abroad, we traveled together for the gathering with Chile and your southern family, a trip that made us recognize as mother and daughter.

& Awards

ARCA 2019
WIP Documentary residence - SANFIC award
BAFICI (Buenos Aires) 2020
WIP - Kiné award
    • Year of production
    • 2020
    • Genres
    • Family, First film, Documentary
    • Countries
    • CHILE
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • N/A
    • Duration
    • 75 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Gabriela PENA
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • I come back to live in Chile after 20 years abroad, looking for a reconnection with my native land. In my grandparents house I find VHS tapes where I discover the absence in images of a trascendental woman in my childhood: Zoila, who was our nanny of my sister and I for many years.
      In the process of questioning my upbringing, I discover my father's little help in the domestic tasks and my mother’s depression, which prevented her from taking charge of us and from controlling her jealousy with Zoila. But when we moved to Barcelona in 2000, they also invited her to come with us. Shortly after arriving, she was fired due to coexistence problems. She started working in a restaurant and moved to her own apartment in the same city. Despite this, we never lost contact. This was the starting point of a confusing and intense relationship, which lasts for more than twenty years.
      I decide to correct the lack of images with Zoila in the past and I travel back to Barcelona where I start to film our daily live, which ends up in questions about her origins, matter that she never talked me about: she comes from a mapuche indigenous extended family in southern Chile with whom she began to reconnect recently through social networks.
      Several years ago, all of her brothers and sisters began to experience parenthood. Feeling willing to do it too she got pregnant a while ago, process that ended in the hospital due to health complications that eliminated the possibilities of maternity. This was definitely confirmed when menopause came to her in the middle of my film process. Disillusionment leads her to want to visit her parents after 20 years, to which she asks us to accompany her.
      On this gathering trip, I get excited by the idea of getting to know the original culture of Zoila. I search the way to approach her through the landscape, history and mapuche language with the intention to resolve the meaning of our bond. But far from achieving it, we get more distant in each attempt, because she doesn't feel identified with the culture and simply wants to spend time with her family. This separates us for a few days and forces me to observe the present and relate to her nephews, film the daily routine and observe the family ties, actions that slowly reconciles us.
      Zoila returns to Barcelona and I stay in Chile reviewing the material from my childhood. Suddenly I remember that Zoila was the first to know that I got my period in my adolescence, which makes me finally recognize her as the mother who was and is, breaking the structures of the traditional family that my parents wanted to film. An idyllic world in which Zoila had no place as a mother.
      My sister, Zoila and I spent an afternoon chatting in bed. I ask her if she thinks our bond will ever be broken, and her answer is a clear No. Time after, again in Chile, with Zoila in the distance, we began to explore a new way of relating through new technologies. Trusting in this unbreakable bond.