A film by Julia Solomonoff
Argentina/Spain, 2005, 88 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Subjects: Anthropology, Indigenous Studies, Latin American Studies, Mexico, Cultural Studies, Human Rights, Film Studies.
Natalia and Elena Levin, two sisters forced to separate as teenagers in 1975, right after Natalia’s militant boyfriend Martin was disappeared by the military dictatorship, reunite in 1984 in a country foreign to both of them. Natalia, who has been living in exile in Spain, travels to visit Elena, who has just moved to suburban Texas with her husband and son.
It’s been nine years since they’ve seen each other and Natalia arrives eager to rebuild the ties of family love that she has missed so much. When she finds out that Elena has brought along the manuscript of their deceased father’s last novel, Natalia reads it with anticipation that soon becomes trepidation – the unpublished novel unveils the story of their family during the dictatorship. Despite her painful memories of Argentina, she starts asking herself and everybody around her more and more questions about the past – and about Martin. Who betrayed him? What really happened to him?
Unresolved questions and troubling memories force tension between the sisters as they attempt to face the truth about their past. Exploring the secrets and silences of a family and a society that lived under a decade of fear, complicity with the dictatorship and concealment, Solomonoff debuts with a compelling story in a film that shines with exceptional performances by Valeria Bertuccelli and Ingrid Rubio.
"A perceptive and beautifully acted drama." — The New York Times
"A beautiful feature debut! A vibrant portrait of two antithetical sisters torn apart by secrets and politics" — Time Out New York
Julia Solomonoff is a graduate of the Centro de Experimentación y Realización Cinematográfica in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a Fulbright graduate of Columbia University’s MFA program. Prior to Hermanas, Solomonoff worked as an assistant director, most notably on Walter Salles’s The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) and has directed the short films Octavo 51 (1992), A Day with Angela (1993), Siesta (1998), Scratch (2001), and Ahora (2003). Hermanas, her first feature film, was a 2006 Toronto Film Festival Selection, and the original script was selected by the Sundance Lab, the Paris Seminary of Scriptwriters, and the Berlinale Talent Campus.