The cinema is the best tool to portray violence against women

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  • Mon, 02/18/2019 - 16:58
The cinema is the best tool to portray violence against women
  • Nyra Soberón, protagonist of the short film "Sacrifictum"
  • Ivan Jaripio

Fabio Agrana

The cinema is the best ally that women can have to portray the violence and feminicide that they suffer because of the mere fact of being female, highlighted the participants in a colloquium of the Festival de Cine Pobre Panalandia celebrated in Panama City.

The screening of the experimental short film "Sacrifictum" (1999) by Panamanian filmmaker Pituka Ortega, which tells the story of a woman who paid with jail for murdering her husband as a result of an intrafamily event, was a good excuse for the debate "History of violence told by women".

In the talk it was said that the product of the increasingly recurrent incidence of feminicide a large part of society has lost its capacity for amazement and has become mute before the denunciation of these events, paying attention only to the "final blow" of the death and not the causes of this phenomenon.

The written media and television also only highlight the sensationalist part of these crimes criminalized as femicides, of which during 2018, according to figures from the Public Ministry (PM), there were a total of 18, in addition to 14 attempts of feminicide.

"Somehow this happens because we are mute, and because we believe that violence is only the final blow" that takes the life of a woman, said filmmaker Natividad Jaén, part of a re-socialization project of the Ministry of Government within the Women's Rehabilitation Center (women's prison) of Panama.

Jaén -who studied filmmaking and the problems related to violence suffered by women, which is a topic that she always wanted to talk about as a social communicator- considers that the act of violence "is in some way “the little cherry” of actions that leads to that level of foolishness to hit someone until she dies".

Nyra Soberón, protagonist of the short film "Sacrifictum" and member of the Fundación Mente Pública (creator of Panalandia), said that femicide, despite being distinguished by physical beat and abuse, is characterized "by a subtlety that we live daily".

Soberón affirmed that the cinema, in addition to the theater, are good allies to deepen in all the details that lead to this violent behavior against women because of their condition of being so.

"You have to start there and analyze what needs to be portrayed, what is to be represented about that violence and all its nuances, since most of us think that violence is what specialists talk about, the last step" of feminicide, she added.

The actress and activist said that in large part because of this need to treat this violence through film was that the Fundación Mente Pública was born in 2010 and made the Festival de Cine Pobre, Panalandia, "to tell our stories and make our own movies".

She added that then "for us any topic that is born from the observation of reality, what happens in our country, to tell the stories of women, men, children, of any person is valid, above all, a thematic like this in which there are many areas like the legal one".

"I think that the cinema does an awareness-raising work, not only to (deepen and portray) those areas, but for the general public, and I believe that both the cinema and any other tool that exists makes the complaint that has to be made", she said.

The filmmaker stressed that there are many, without specifying how many, film productions that address the issue of violence against women that have been screened within the Panalandia festival.

Panalandia emerged in 2014 with the idea of promoting film creation at all levels of Panamanian society, without great technical and budgetary requirements, whose strength is contained and stories of national themes, expressed from an authentic approach and an original and universal language.

Its objective is to promote the career of new directors and producers with limited resources, granting their winners in the categories of fiction, documentary, video, animation and experimental scholarships for national and international film workshops or audiovisual production equipment.

In the current edition, which culminates this Saturday, a total of 85 productions will be screened, 61 of them local and 24 of Central American filmmakers.


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