Audiovisual productions don’t exist for the mere urge to entertain audiences, but they’re also a mechanism for awareness that allow one to exercise memory. Such is the case for “The Suspended Mourning”, a miniseries created and directed by Hernán Caffiero, which has become indispensable in remembering one of the darkest episodes in the history of Chile.
“The Suspended Mourning” won in the “Best Short Series” category at the 2018 International Emmys, the most important awards for television worldwide. This recognition was the culmination of a successful run for the series in European festivals, such as the 14th Human Rights Film Festival in Barcelona where the quality of the production was highlighted, with impeccable cinematography and period set design.
It’s a 16-episode production, each episode lasting five minutes, that salvages exactly 16 narratives of among the more than 40,000 cases of people who were tortured, jailed, and disappeared during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. This miniseries is based on the cases compiled in the Rettig Report, a judiciary document that contains testimonies by witnesses and loved ones of those who, to date, still have not been found.
“The Suspended Mourning”” is a co-production between Tridi Films and the Chile Film School, which had the financial support of the National Television Council (CNTV) Fund, seeks to rescue the importance of memory for new generations.
The series stars great national actors like Alfredo Castro, Alejandro Goic, Catalina Saavedra, and Luis Dubó, among many others.
Caffiero has been noted for creating works with strong testimonial content, becoming one of the most important Chilean directors in terms of historical memory and activism. In a recent interview with CinemaChile, he asserted, “We audiovisual creators are responsible, too, for confronting themes that other communications disciplines do not, because our work is lasting, it is in no way passing, we’re creators of stories that mark audiences, modify them, sensitize and move them, and at the same time, we’re witnesses to our times, and it’s on us to do a true portrayal of what we’re living. And although subjectivity doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with the truth, I think honesty and the ability to empathize with our surroundings when we approach a project make the difference between the superficial and the profound.”
A few days ago, Caffiero’s name made the news following the announcement by big international production company BTF Media, which confirmed the official inauguration of a new production office in Santiago, Chile. There, founding members will join forces with the Chilean producer and director to move this new endeavor forward.
In 2019, Caffiero obtained two important recognitions on behalf of the National Television Council (CNTV) Fund, ending up as the winner in the history line as well as that of fiction. The two projects were Anonymous Voices, a fiction with 16 stories of misogynist violence, and Raza Brava, an eight-part documentary series about friendship and barras bravas (football hooligans) in Chile. Both projects are currently at the height of development.
In addition, the second season of The Suspended Mourning is also being developed, an eight-episode series about the human rights violations occurring during the social uprising in Chile that began last October 18th.
Click here to watch the first episode of The Suspended Mourning centered on the story of Alfredo García, a young militant of the MIR detained in 1975 by the DINA (secret police) and seen for the last time, according to witnesses, at the Villa Grimaldi torture center.
Click here to watch the eighth episode of The Suspended Mourning, based on the disappearance of Reinalda Pereira, a young medical technician and militant of the Communist Party of Chile, detained at 29 years old. At the moment of her disappearance, Pereira was pregnant with her first child.