History of a secret


Mariana Otero

When I learned at the age of 30 that my mother had died of a back-alley abortion, I was stupefied. It was hard to admit that it could have happened to her, that this event was suddenly part of her history, my history and that of my family’s. I couldn’t believe I had lived so long without knowing the real causes of her death. As for many women of my generation, the tragedies linked to abortion belonged to a distant and forgotten past. My stupor turned into revolt and anger. I could not allow that she had died almost illegally, surrounded by shame and secrecy. As the victim of an unfair law, silence had made her a culprit. When I first dared talk about the circumstances of my mother’s death, I realized that other families had been through the same horror and in most cases, secrecy had been maintained, particularly with the children. I had to break the silence. My film had to participate in lifting and destroying once and for all the secrecy within my family to restore its political and social dimension.

Original title: Histoire d'un secret

Production: Archipel 35, INA, France 5

Nationality: France

Year of production: 2003

Running time: 91

Language: French

Ratio: 1:66




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