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When They Left

( Cuando ellos se fueron )

Verónica Haro Abril

  • Spanish (with English subtitles); 61 min

When They Left - Verónica Haro Abril

Ecuador, 2019, 61 min
  • Production: Illimani Films / International Sales: Abril Films

When the colourful ice-cream van rides through the deserted streets of the village, there are no children trailing behind it. In Plazuela, a peaceful hamlet lost in a mountainous region of Ecuador, only a handful of old ladies remain, who are all widows. In the gloom of their houses, photos of those who are gone hang on walls: husbands who have passed away a few years earlier, children gone to work in the big cities or abroad, and grandchildren who have grown up far away from them. Some years after the death of her grandparents, the filmmaker comes back to the village to film Lucrecia, Gloria, Consolación, Piedad and the other grandmothers who continue to keep Plazuela alive, at least for a few more years. Through them, their gestures, their histories and their affection, she is also trying to capture the figure of her own deceased grandmother. The result is a funny, delicate and moving portrait, which is full of life. Like the giggles of two friends breaking the silence, like a couple of steps danced in front of a radio and childhood memories suddenly resurface.