HISTORY OF A SECRET
Available only in the US | From Monday, November 6th at 12 pm EST until Monday, November 13th 12 pm EST
“When I learned at the age of 30 that my mother had died of a back-alley abortion, I was stupefied. It was hard to admit that it could have happened to her, that this event was suddenly part of her history, my history and that of my family’s. I couldn’t believe I had lived so long without knowing the real causes of her death. As for many women of my generation, the tragedies linked to abortion belonged to a distant and forgotten past. My stupor turned into revolt and anger. I could not allow that she had died almost illegally, surrounded by shame and secrecy. As the victim of an unfair law, silence had made her a culprit. When I first dared talk about the circumstances of my mother’s death, I realized that other families had been through the same horror and in most cases, secrecy had been maintained, particularly with the children. I had to break the silence. My film had to participate in lifting and destroying once and for all the secrecy within my family to restore its political and social dimension.”
About the director
Mariana Otero was born in Rennes in 1963. Following her film studies at IDHEC (Institut Des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques) where she developed a passion for documentary film, she made several documentaries for the television channel Arte, including Non lieux (1990) and School law (1995) which became the first documentary series to be shown on the channel. Between 1995 and 2002 she lived in Portugal where she made Cette télévision est la vôtre (1997). Exposing the functionning of the largest commercial television channel in the country (CIS), the film caused a huge controversy. Then Mariana Otero moved back to France where she shot History of a Secret (2003). Following an investigation into a family secret, the film draws back the veil on a political and social taboo. History of a secret went on to receive a number of prizes abroad. In 2010, Mariana Otero made Into our hands, which tells how women employees discover new freedom in trying to transform their company into a cooperative business. This film was nominated for a César award for Best Documentary in 2011. In 2013 she makes Like an open sky a documentary film which makes us understand the singular perception of the word of children in psychological and social troubles. In 2020, she makes documentary about the well known french and international photographer Gilles Caron who disappeared in 1970. Histoire d’un regard /Looking for Gilles Caron This film is nominated for a César award for Best Documentary in 2021, and has been selected in many festivals abroad.
She also teaches at Ateliers Varan, at La Femis and in several universities. She is a member of Acid (Association for Independent Cinema and its Diffusion), of Ateliers Varan and of the professional board of la FEMIS. She is Knight of the Order of the Arts and the Letters since 2011.