Bones of Contention

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    Bones of Contention

    Directed by



    75 min

    • English
    • Spanish


    "Bones of Contention" explores the theme of historical memory in Spain, focusing on the repression of lesbians and gays under Franquismo. What happened to LGBT people during the Franco regime? This film uncovers their stories and breaks their silence for the first time. Lining the roads of Spain, masked by miles and miles of pine trees, are unmarked graves in which over a hundred twenty thousand victims of the Franco regime are buried. Today the families of the disappeared lead a grassroots effort to uncover and identify the bones of their loved ones. Invisible to the eye but hyper-visible in the mind, these mass graves of Spain’s missing persons are an apt metaphor for the historical memory conundrum. How does a country excavate a past that is actively suppressed? The film’s two thematic strands — the historical memory movement’s campaign to uncover the past (literally and figuratively) and the search for the hidden lives of lesbians and gays under Franco — are connected through the figure of Spain’s most famous poet, Federico García Lorca, who was killed by a right-wing firing squad in the first few weeks of the Spanish Civil War. He has become the symbol for both the historical memory movement and the LGBT movement today. This documentary essay ruminates on the theme of historical memory, unearths the untold story of LGBT experience under Franco, and considers how the historical memory movement in Spain serves as a site of struggle and resistance against official narratives.



    Andrea Weiss
    Carmen Vidal Balanzat
    Andrea Weiss
    Joaquín Turina
    Federico García Lorca
    Duo DS
    Andrea Weiss

    Andrea Weiss


    Born in Bristol, Pennsylvania in 1956, Andrea Weiss is a documentary filmmaker and non-fiction author. In 1984 she co-founded with Greta Schiller the film production company Jezebel Productions which was recently honoured with a retrospective in Buenos Aires. She co-wrote and co-directed ESCAPE TO LIFE: THE ERIKA AND KLAUS MANN STORY which screened in the New German Films section of the Berlinale in 2001. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Programme. She has a PhD in history and has been professor of film and video at the City College of New York since 2003. Her film BONES OF CONTENTION screened in the Panorama section of the Berlinale 2017.