One Or Two Questions (Unas Preguntas), Dir. Kristina Konrad, Germany / Uruguay, 2018, 237 mins, Spanish with English subtitles
What does peace mean to you? And justice? Following 12 years of military rule (1973–1985) and the accompanying silence, it couldn’t be taken for granted that people in Uruguay at the end of the 1980s would discuss such questions in a lively fashion in public. Two women take an analogue U-matic camera to public spaces across the country and ask these questions of countless passers-by after a controversial amnesty law, passed in 1986, grants impunity for human rights violations and crimes committed by police and military under the former dictatorship.
Enthusiastic conversations on the street ground this stirring film, which documents the mobilisation of civil society from collecting signatures for a referendum to the day of the actual vote. TV ads and campaign spots from the time supplement the smartly edited video footage. One can hear a plurality of opinions, experience a society in upheaval and recognise the importance of the public sphere as a stage for political debate. This film captures democracy in action, the kind that once again needs defending in many places in the world today.
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