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From the movement of the Catholic Church to combat the heretical threat, inquisitorial courts in Europe became instruments for crowning political disputes. Formed by several kingdoms, Spain during this period faced the challenge of unification due to peoples with different cultures and beliefs. From Fernando II, who asked the Pope to renew the Inquisition after the Marranos Conspiracy in Seville, until the mid-1800s, when it was finally extinguished, Spain was one of the most brutal countries in its use of the Holy Office tribunal. Over three centuries, more than 100,000 people died.

The witch hunt is one of the most absurd stories of humanity about the genocide of women and punishing women who somehow did not meet society’s expectations by burning and hanging. They were accused of witchcraft for being too ugly or too beautiful, using medicinal plants, being single or widowed, enjoying dancing or laughing, having cats, or anything banal that upset the dominant group.

In the film “Silenciadas” by Argentinian filmmaker Pablo Aguero, which takes place in 1609 in the Basque country, in northern Spain, tells the story of five young people, Ana (Amaya Aberastur), Maider (Yune Nogueiras), Maria (John). Laspiuri), Olaya (Irat Saez de Urabain) and Oneka (Lorea Ibarra), are arrested for witchcraft after participating in a night of dancing in the forest with other villagers. The men of the village are sailors, and they are all at sea when Judge Rosteg (Alex Brandemiuli), appointed by King Felipe III, arrives with soldiers to clean up the region. At first they don’t know what they are accused of. After realizing they have been questioned for witchcraft and their judges are already convinced of their crimes, they decide to bide their time until their sailor fathers arrive to free them and spin a bogus story about witchcraft they never committed.

Anna leads the narrative and convinces the judge, the priest of the local church and everyone involved in the trial. As Anna’s story unfolds, time passes and the judge begins to suspect that they want to stop before the arrival of the sailors, forcing them to breed a demonic cult called the Sabbat.

Aguero was inspired by the crusade of judge Pierre de Lancre, who traveled to the Basque Country in 1609 to cleanse it. Although the film is only an hour and a half long, every minute of it causes great pain for the audience who sees the senseless injustice that was committed and happened hundreds of thousands of times during the Middle Ages. Anna and her friends are completely disenfranchised, and therefore there is no point in denying that they are witches, because in Rosteg’s eyes they are already guilty. As they band together to create a false narrative in an attempt to survive, we are warmed by a flame of hope that lives on through unity, friendship, Anna’s attempt to protect others by making herself the center of blame. A sense of power that cares for each of them. A heartbreaking film, but still strong and clear in its message that feminicides have always existed as a means of trying to control the behavior of women, who, when they deviate from expectations, represent a kind of threat to male hegemony, the traditional family. And in order to present and study the work, the body, intellectual and emotional feminine.

A story that deserves to be seen and known so it doesn’t repeat itself, “Silenciadas” will awaken your rebellion, your grief and your inner rebellion.


movie: He became silent
Direction: Pablo Aguero
Year: 2020 year
genre: drama
Note: 10/10

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