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ARTIST
TITLE
Franco's Settlers
FORMAT
DVD

LABEL
CATALOG #
PL 084DVD PL 084DVD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
9/21/2018

Franco's Settlers: The History Of A Village Without A History: There's a village among the high plains of La Mancha in Spain whose name pays tribute to its creator. Llanos del Caudillo (Plains of the Caudillo) was one of 300 settlement villages built for poor farmers during the dictatorship of General Franco. The documentary film Franco's Settlers is a portrait of this village, which was founded in 1955. The film explores how the legacy of the dictatorship is handled, a legacy that still divides Spanish society. Highly significant documents were unearthed during the shooting of the film. The findings prompt the mayor to declare: "These documents contain the history of a village without a history." What begins as an investigation into an unknown chapter in Spanish history evolves into a reflection on contemporary Spanish society. A society in which a judge trying to prosecute those who committed crimes during the dictatorship himself becomes the subject of judicial prosecution, while at the same time those who still valorize the dictatorship go unpunished. The film explores the past to find the key to the present and the question why many people still honor the dictator. Meanwhile, some Spaniards are demanding justice for crimes against humanity committed during the military coup (1936), civil war (1936-1939) and the 40-year dictatorship (1939-1975). Approximately 114,000 victims of Francoist violence are still missing, buried in mass graves. The amnesty law of 1977 impedes any sort of penal action. In 2010, victims seeking justice filed a complaint in Argentina. Unlike many films that deal with Spanish historical memory by siding with the victim's perspective, Franco's Settlers gives voice to both sides, including those who still defend and admire the dictator Franco. So the film captures what it meant to live under a dictatorship. By using the village as an example and villagers' stories of harassment, abuse and economic betrayal, the corruption of the Francoist system is revealed. The film consciously locates itself in the tradition of poetic documentary filmmaking, recalling both in its aesthetic and its cinematic narrative the historical film debates of Claude Lanzmann (Shoah) and Eberhard Fechner (Der Prozess).

DVD content: Germany, Spain 2013/2018, DVD 9, NTSC, no regions. Film running time: 118 minutes; Total running time: 211 minutes, bonus materials. Includes 16-page booklet in German, English, and Spanish. Subtitles: English, German, French, Romanian, Spanish. Includes teaching materials in German and Spanish.