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Broken Silence (2001)

Silencio roto (original title)
Winter, 1944. Lucía at 21 returns to her small village in the mountains. She again meets Manuel, a young iron-smith who helps "those in the mountain", the "maquis", the anti-Franco ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Álvaro de Luna ...
Don Hilario
Joseba Apaolaza ...
Jordi Bosch ...
Ramón Barea ...
Alicia Sánchez ...
Helio Pedregal ...
Ander Erburù ...
Juan-8 years
Andoni Erburu ...


Winter, 1944. Lucía at 21 returns to her small village in the mountains. She again meets Manuel, a young iron-smith who helps "those in the mountain", the "maquis", the anti-Franco resistance. Lucía is attracted to Manual, because of his smile and the bravery of those men who continue fighting for their ideas, even at the cost of their own lives. When Manuel is pursued (by Franco's Civil Guard) he flees to the mountain and Lucía discovers the reality of political repression, the silence, the horror and fear. Written by Anonymous - Translation of above

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Release Date:

27 April 2001 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Broken Silence  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

All you wanted to know about Maquis and you weren't told about...
31 May 2001 | by (Valencia, Spain) – See all my reviews

Don't miss it.

First, I don't know if it's a honour to be the first one to make any statement on that film or just a shame not a person among those who've already seen it (only in Spain I think) made up its mind and write on it. For those who lack some knowledge on Spanish Civil War and Post-War period: some historical facts

Spanish War began 18th July 1936 when the African troops raised against Spanish Republican Gov. Their leader was Franco, who gained his reputation in 1920's colonial war's in Morocco. The Legion and it's leaders were demoralized after what they thought was a shameful withdrawal from Northern Africa. Spain retained two cities (Ceuta and Melilla), and Sidi Ifni (Western Sahara, which was occupied by Morocco after 'Green March' in 1974-75, and this time with a languishing Franco!). Spain became the ground to proof German modern war techniques sustained on persistent plane bombing ('Stukas' made their debut destroying cities loyal to Republic, remember Picasso's 'Gernica'? this Basque village with strong political and historical significance was demolished completely, not a building was standing after the German Luftwafe finished its work). As ever, some countries remained neutral ( mainly France, UK, USA)if it is possible to be so, while others (say Germany and Italy) played an important role in war. From neutral countries came lots (60-70 thousand) of men not only British, American and French but Italians, Germans, Canadians and from all around Europe. But these fighters weren't as well equipped and trained as German and Italian troops that were sent by Mussolini and Hitler. And what about USSR? They didn't mind much, just asked for money to send some weapons and ammunition. No troops. So the Republican side (which had in it's power the main cities and industrial regions in the beginning) couldn't beat the right army. This happened April 1st 1939. If war is thought to be a hard experience, what about some post-war periods? The victors revenged for years against those people belonging to republican families. 10 years after war ended still were thousands in prison. No amnesty. Some people didn't assume that the Coup had won, and they thought that if they resisted until Democratic countries beat Fascism in Europe, they would be helped dethrone Franco's dictatorship. But of course, they were wrong. Democratic leaders were afraid that Spain would became a communist country in line with centre-eastern Europe soviets satellites, so they, again, preferred a right wing government. The guerrillas were called 'Maquis' which is a French word meaning Bush. These commandos existed from 1939 (end of the war) to early 1950's! And is reckoned to be about 5000 men fighting in the countryside (mainly in northern regions) and a much bigger number of people supporting them. The most of the Maquis fighters are died but they were granted recently some political and historical recognition in Spanish Parliament.

The Film. The story runs in a little village in Navarra (close to French border). The main characters are the women ones' the men being just as egoistic as to think only of them and their ideas and to fight for them bravely but not caring for the consequences, at least not always. Quick summary of strong points: The screenplay, it's wonderfully written by also director Montxo Armendariz. He's from the land where it's shot and he's lived the ambient he describes. Lot's of good personages and sequences. Dialogs are also great, mordacious when it comes and also tender, even funny. The main plot line is the Maquis resistance, but there's a lot more underlying like self respect, dignity, love and courage in bad times. It's about people who fall in love like the two youngsters: (Manuel-Juan Diego Botto and Lucía-Lucía Jiménez) the blacksmith whose father is a Maquis and the Inn's owner's (Teresa-Mercedes Sampietro) niece. A story of a mature love affair between Teresa and Don Hilario (a former teacher due to its leftist ideals) that lasts instead of her marriage to a horrible husband. The love of parents for children, like the two old that live in the mountains hoping to see sometime their already died son ( their cabin is like a haven for Maquis were they can get some food, once in a while the supplier brings them a letter written on its own handwriting supposing to be from their son who was shot down time ago). The love too of a Guardia's wife whose always afraid for his life.

The actors and actresses: great, but especially the women. Teresa, Lucía, Lola, Juana, Julia. Are as good when they're leading the scene in close-ups as when they're just filling the screen, standing and hearing the others. They know how to suffer, they're so accustomed to suffer for others... and yet they're still human, deeply human. In war times women have to work twice.

Location, Photography, Score: Perfect. I think the music's a must buy.

Direction: Armendariz's best work. He deserves a 10.If scenes work perfectly and performances are full of shades who's to blame?

There's some flavour of 'film noir' in the final scene when Lucía's leaving the Inn and turns to Lola and says 'Siempre me quedará la duda de si fuiste tu quién les delató' ('I'll always doubt whether it was you that spoke against them'), while Lola's cleaning some glasses and doesn't even utter a word.

I gave it 9/10 (I'm waiting for some years to give it the 10 I think it deserves). BTW: the screenplay's already been published.

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