Cineforum: ‘The Forbidden Ones’

Directed by Andrea Schellemberg, the Argentinian documentary The Forbidden Ones is the story of three women who work in the Library of the National Congress in Argentina. The library provides information to both Houses of the Parliament and to all powers of the State at national, provincial and municipal level. Over the years, it has become a modern Public Library. The department of Special Collections is where the banned books are kept during unconstitutional governments.

The work of the librarians has the delicate task of basting the documents, like remnants of the past, with a sequence of words, of ideas, which is frequently covered by legislative circumstantial urgencies or other projects.

At the same time, the attempts to unveil and account for forbidden books create one more link in the understanding of Argentine history.

A paradoxical event occurs in the National Congress, the house of democracy was the place that dictatorships chose to hide books and other expressions that were object of censorship.

Today this material forms a file that is still alive, reviewed, analyzed and interpreted by different generations. Never would the censors have imagined that the work of concealment and denial would become a place of memory.

The material that is the Special Collections room puts me in front of my own forgetfulness, an ambiguity that confronts the unpronounceable and the pronounceable. Thus, the universe of books once burned, hidden or buried, documents that enact prohibitions, can illuminate what was once silenced. An act of denying reality and history becomes a link that illuminates the events of the past.

At Cineforum│Lataff, Latin American films and documentaries are screened followed often by open discussions managed by film directors, producers, actors, and/or Latin American Film Festival, Lataff, staff. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the Latin American culture, language and the art of film making from such an important worldwide film community members.