Outsider Pictures will release Our Mothers (Nuestras madres), the debut feature by director César Díaz, virtually beginning May 1st, 2020.
The winner of the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Silver Hugo at the Chicago Film Festival, Our Mothers will virtually premiere at the Lumiere Cinema at the Music Hall and the Laemmle Playhouse in Los Angeles, The Tower Theatre in Miami and other theaters to be announced. In a similar vein to other virtual releases in the US, Our Mothers will be available via local art house cinemas, with a national ticket price of $12, split equally with the local cinema to help them theaters during the COVID19 pandemic.
Guatemala, 2018. The whole country is immersed in the trial of the soldiers who sparked the civil war. Victim statements come one after another. Ernesto is a young anthropologist working for the Forensic Foundation; his job is to identify the missing. One day, while hearing the account of an old woman, he thinks he has found a lead that might guide him to his father, a guerrillero who went missing during the war. Against his mother’s wishes, he flings himself body and soul into the case, looking for truth and resilience.
What director César Díaz started as a documentary project about military massacres during the Guatemalan civil war in the 1970-80s, soon turned into a feature drama when Díaz met the women in the villages where rebels were killed by soldiers. The women hold together the fabric of their country. While listening to their stories Diaz realized he had a chance to extend the community’s oral tradition by telling their stories through cinema. Their testimonies, often full of violent tales, echoed the story he had heard from his own mother about his father, also a “disappeared” guerrilla fighter.
In Our Mothers, Díaz has crafted a story that is both personal and universal for those of his generation. It’s the story of Guatemala’s history as one of the first CIA “black operations” that led to a revolutionary moment. It is estimated that only 1% of the disappeared have been identified, after 20 years of searching. The Genocide trial in the film is a mixture of many trials currently in process, as is the painstaking work of uncovering the mass graves and returning the bodies to the families.
For his two main characters, Díaz found professional actors Armando Espitia and Emma Dib in Mexico. But for the other characters, he cast real people from the village. Díaz says, “In Guatemala, fathers are absent as a general rule. Many children born of rape think that their father just left at some point. I therefore wanted the mother to reveal her secret, because it is a way of accepting and living with the consequences of what has happened. In a post-dictatorship, post-war situation, I think there must be collective acceptance, which can then be followed by individual moving on. Our Mothers is, to my knowledge, the first film to deal with this subject head-on.”
Our Mothers will be made available nationally via local art house cinemas beginning May 1, with a ticket price of $12, split equally with the local cinema to help support them during the pandemic. ROW8, the digital provider to Outsider Pictures, also offers a zip code, geo-targeted solution, which will allow theaters to use the system on an ongoing basis allowing its more vulnerable audiences to keep viewing new films from home while necessary.