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Children of Memory (Niños de la Memoria)
US/El Salvador, 2012, 64 minutes, Color, DVD, Spanish, Subtitled
Order No. W131095
Hundreds of children disappeared without a trace during the Salvadoran civil war. Many were survivors of massacres carried out by the U.S.-trained Salvadoran army. Taken away from the massacre sites by soldiers, some grew up in orphanages or were "sold" into adoption abroad, not knowing their true history or identity. The film follows Margarita Zamora, an investigator with human rights organization Pro-Búsqueda as she traverses the Salvadoran countryside probing memory, swabbing DNA samples, and searching for disappeared children - including her own four siblings.

In the United States, Jamie Harvey, adopted from El Salvador in 1980, dreams of locating her birth family; but with no information, no contacts and no access to the Salvadoran military war archives, she is losing hope. CHILDREN OF MEMORY weaves together separate yet intertwined journeys in the search for family, identity and justice in El Salvador.


Cine Golden Eagle Award

  • Cine Las Americas
  • Doc Buenos Aires
  • Punta del Este International Film Festival
  • DOXA Documentary Film Festival
  • San Diego Latino Film Festival
  • Festival AMBULANTE
  • San Francisco Latino Film Festival: Cine + Mas
  • Cinefestival, San Antonio, Texas
  • Latin American Studies Association Film Festival, Award of Merit in Film
  • Scribe Video Center

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    "...chronicles one of the worst human rights abuses during the war in El Salvador– the massacre of whole communities by the armed forces and the kidnapping of children who survived."
    William LeoGrande
    Professor, American University and Author

    “… raises a fundamental issue for El Salvador: the role of memory in the reconstruction of the social and human fabric torn apart by violence. It is about the effort, often painful, to return to the past to give voice to the victims and collect their experiences so that the entire society recognizes what happened.”
    Miguel Huezo Mixco
    La Prensa Gráfica (El Salvador)

    “…portrays the determination and bravery of those dedicated to finding the country’s disappeared children, as it exposes the government stonewalling that continues to block the truth.”
    Kate Doyle
    Senior Analyst, National Security Archive

    “...brings light to one of the darkest chapters of Salvadoran history.”
    Salvador Sanabria
    Director, El Rescate (Los Angeles)

    “…supports the recuperation of historical memory...that permits us to strengthen a culture of peace in El Salvador.”
    Carlos Henriquez Consalvi (“Santiago”)
    Director, Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen

    “…an important contribution to understanding what transpired during the war and contributes to ongoing efforts at reconciliation in El Salvador.”
    Joy Olson
    Executive Director, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

    “… an essential addition to the films about Central America in the 1980s. Its courageous characters and their urgent work to find all the missing children of El Salvador, are unforgettable.”
    Pamela Yates
    Director of GRANITO: How to Nail a Dictator

    "Children of Memory is a densely packed film elucidating the basic elements of the El Salvadorian conflict....but more fully delving into the aftermath of loss and reconciliation, adeptly looking at the tragedy of the disappeared through three distinct perspectives."
    Jennifer Dean
    Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)

    "Highly recommended."
    Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)

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    Children of Memory (Niños de la Memoria) is included in the following Special Collections.
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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us