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photo Awakening from Sorrow
Buenos Aires 1997
By John Knoop & Karina Epperlein

Awakening from Sorrow is about a crucial moment in history when the grief of young Argentines — whose parents disappeared and were tortured and killed during the 'Dirty War' (Argentina's dictatorship organized mass killings of civilian dissidents during the 1970s until 1983) erupts into public action, and becomes a cornerstone for social movements from South America to Serbia. Until these young people began to organize and demand explanations from their government, the predominant coping strategy has been to pretend that the missing are still alive. This film documents the power to transform pain into action to lift the veil of repression that has gripped a generation of young people.

The film's voices are woven into a "tapestry of remembrance" questioning and pushing for justice, accountability and resolution from all angles. They include: Nobel Prize- winner Perez Esquivel, history professor Wolfgang Bayer, death camp survivor Graciela Deleo, and the infamous Captain Adolpho Scilingo who admits to having ordered the dropping of dissidents from a naval cargo plane into the Atlantic Ocean.

When a dictatorship ends and democracy takes over many people are left with not just physical but emotional scars. The expressionistic and moving drawings of the "HIJOS" (Sons and Daughters for Identity and Justice Against Forgetting and Silence) together with original music by cellist Beth Vandervennet help to highlight a universal story. The atrocities committed by the state against its own people take a long time to heal and the young people's courage gives hope to us all.

40 minutes
© 2009
Purchase $248 DVD
Order No. QA-553

"Chilling in scope and effect." San Francisco Chronicle

"This film explores timeless questions with grace and poetry." Elizabeth Farnsworth, co-producer/co-director, The Judge and The General

Awards & Conference Screenings
Mill Valley Film Festival, 2009
Charleston Film Festival, 2010
Newport Beach Film Festival, 2010
Oaxaca International Independent Film
and Video Festival, 2010
Port Townsend Film Festival, 2010
Sin Fronteras Film Festival, 2010
Brantford Film Festival, 2010
Western Psychological Association Conference, 2011

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Awards & Screenings

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Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website