Our Disappeared

“The task of remembering is not easy,” Juan Mandelbaum has said. In this sensitive and revealing documentary, Boston-based filmmaker Mandelbaum returns to his native Argentina to take up the task of remembering the victims of that country's Dirty War. The film investigates the fates of Mandelbaum's friends among the disappeared, targets of the government-sponsored violence that claimed tens of thousands of lives in the 1970s. Mandelbaum searches for traces and interviews survivors, meeting parents (some of them refugees from Hitler's Germany) who mourn their executed children, and children orphaned by the conflict who now struggle to carry on their parents' progressive legacy. A personal memorial becomes a broader history of a generation that dreamed of revolution, only to be destroyed because of its ideals. As one survivor says, lost in the terror were not “merely” individual lives, but justice and the hope for social transformation. To contemplate this loss is not easy.

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