Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  75 minutes
Date:  2017
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English; Spanish
Color/BW:  Color / Black and White
Closed captioning available
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Bones of Contention

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The first nonfiction feature film to explore the theme of historical memory in Spain, focusing on the repression of lesbians and gays under Franquismo.

Bones of Contention

BONES OF CONTENTION is the first nonfiction feature film to explore the theme of historical memory in Spain, focusing on the repression of lesbians and gays under Franquismo. Lining the roads of Spain, masked by miles and miles of pine trees, are unmarked graves in which over a hundred twenty thousand victims of the Franco regime are buried. Today the families of the desaparecidos lead a grassroots effort to uncover and identify the bones of their loved ones, despite opposition from the Spanish government.

Invisible to the eye but hyper-visible in the mind, these mass graves of Spain's missing persons are an apt metaphor for the historical memory conundrum. How does a country excavate a past that is actively suppressed?

The film weaves together two strands, the historical memory movement's campaign to uncover the past, and the search for the hidden lives of lesbians and gays under Franco. These strands are connected through the figure of Spain's most famous poet, Federico Garcia Lorca, who was killed by a right-wing firing squad in the first few weeks of the Spanish Civil War. The mystery of his missing remains and the debates over their significance provide the narrative spine of the documentary, as he has become the symbol today for both the historical memory movement and the LGBT movement.

The film features interviews with:
Laura Garcia Lorca, President, Garcia Lorca Foundation
Emilio Silva, Founder, Asociacion para la Recuperacion de la Memoria Historica
Antoni Ruiz and Silvia Reyes, imprisoned by the Franco regime due to their sexuality
Isabel Franc and Empar Pineda, lesbian witnesses and activists
Fernando Valverde, poet and Lorca scholar

'This chilling documentary revisits the fate of the poet Federico Garcia Lorca, executed in 1936, and of others who are known only to their families.' - Screen International

'Andrea Weiss' sensitive film gives a voice to the victims from the LGBTIQ community ... Impressive archive material documents this repressed history which finds a painful echo in Lorca's poetry and music.' - SydneysBuzz

'Clear and concise!' - Dirty Movies


** World Premiere, 2017 Berlin International Film Festival
** 2017 Frameline San Francisco LGBT Film Festival
** 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival
** 2017 Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival
** 2017 Reeling Chicago LGBT Film Festival


Main credits

Weiss, Andrea (film director)
Weiss, Andrea (film producer)
Weiss, Andrea (screenwriter)
Weiss, Andrea (editor of moving image work)

Other credits

Director of photography, Carmen Vidal Balanzat; editor, Andrea Weiss.

Distributor credits

A film by Andrea Weiss

Docuseek2 subjects

Gay and Lesbian Studies
European History

Distributor subjects

Federico Garcia Lorca
Gay Studies
History (World)
Lesbian Studies


Lorca; Federico Garcia Lorca; Spain; Franco; disappeared; LGBTQ; gay; lesbian; Laura Garcia Lorca; Emilio Silva; Antoni Ruiz; Silvia Reyes; Isabel Franc; Empar Pineda; Fernando Valverde; Andrea Weiss; "Bones of Contention"; Icarus Films

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