A lyrical and sensitive autobiographical exploration of the filmmaker’s family history with child sexual abuse and a culture of silence.
When director Jasmin Mara López sees a photo of her niece with her grandfather, she is flooded by painful memories of her own childhood sexual abuse at his hands—and the following 24 years of her silence. In this cinematically striking and poetic documentary, López bravely films her story as a willful act to accept difficult truths while finding beauty in the process of healing. As she defies the cultural silence that pervades her family and confronts her abusive grandfather, who is a Baptist minister, a world of generational abuse unfolds, and she quickly discovers she is not alone. Through archival family footage and intimate moments with her family, López has created a film about confronting painful truths and the beauty one can feel when they reach the other side of grief.
-Heather Haynes, Hot Docs International Documentary Festival
“My family and I made this film in solidarity with other survivors. To encourage healing but also acknowledge that every survivor has their own path to it. This was an artistic practice that contributed to my own recovery, and that of so many other survivors we met along the way. Child sexual abuse is a public health issue that affects individuals and their families for the rest of their lives. My hope is that Silent Beauty will reach them.”
“It can serve as a vehicle to educate and inform and inspire others to come forward and break their silence and promote their healing and recovery. The documentary is deserving of your attention. Don’t miss it.”
(The Extra Mile, review)
Director Jasmín Mara López
Jasmín Mara López is a Mexican-American journalist, audio producer, and filmmaker living between Los Angeles and New Orleans. Born in the U.S. with familial roots in México, her childhood was affected by issues experienced on both sides of the U.S.- México border. This instilled in her a strong passion for immigrant rights, youth empowerment, and social change. Jasmín founded Project Luz, which taught Mexican youth to document stories from within their communities. Her audio documentary Deadly Divide: Migrant Death on the Border received the Society of Professional Journalists’ Excellence in Journalism Award in 2015. Jasmín has garnered support for her work from New Orleans Film Society, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Black Public Media, Southern Documentary Fund, Sundance Institute, International Documentary Association, Latino Public Broadcasting, ITVS, Firelight Media, Creative Capital, and others. She is currently a fellow with the Gotham/HBO Documentary Development Initiative.
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