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The Search (La Búsqueda)
Directed by Daniel Lagares and Mariano Agudo
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“After 30 years, I am returning as a witness, to help identify the people who are buried there. Hopefully this way, they will stop tormenting me in my dreams.” —Dolores Guzmán

In THE SEARCH (LA BUSQUEDA), we follow three people as they deal with the legacy and personal damage of the civil war that ravaged Peru for 20 years. In 1980, the Shining Path movement launched an armed struggle aimed at overthrowing the Peruvian government and instituting a Communist regime. By the time the civil war ended, in 2000, nearly 70,000 Peruvians had been killed. Government and guerrilla forces were both guilty of horrendous human rights abuses.

Dolores Guzmán is the survivor of a military massacre of civilians in her remote Andean village. She returns to the village for the first time in 32 years, to help identify the bodies of her relatives. Lurgio Gavilán is a former child soldier pressed into battle for both sides. As a pre-teen he set off to find his brother, who was with the Shining Path. After joining the rebels, he was captured by the military and forced into a counterinsurgency unit at age 14. And José Carlos Agüero, is a writer and the son of Shining Path militants killed extra-judicially by a government death squad. Through his work, he tries to reconcile his revolutionary upbringing with his parents’ ideals, the injustice of their deaths, and the violence they perpetrated.

Powerful, emotional, and beautifully filmed, THE SEARCH (LA BUSQUEDA) captures the ongoing trauma of war—even decades later—for participants, bystanders, and children. The Shining Path uprising polarized Peru, but the THE SEARCH does not seek to lay blame. It is a film about truth, reconciliation, and some attempt at closure.

“Beautifully shot, with breathtaking landscapes; a haunting, honest, and unblinking exploration. A welcome addition to any syllabus focusing on the Latin American experience during the twentieth century.” —Ulices Piña, California State University in the journal H-LatAm

“'The Search' (La Búsqueda) offers the opportunity to rethink a violent era, whose wounds have not yet healed. Without choosing sides, it thoughtfully examines an issue that continues to generate debate in Peruvian society.” —Infocine

Grand Prize, French Andean Documentary Films Contest 2019
Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival 2019
Santiago del Estero International Film Festival 2019
Havana International Film Festival of New Latin American Cinema 2018

75 minutes / Color
Spanish; Quechua / English subtitles
Release: 2018
Copyright: 2018

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Subject areas:
Latin America, Human Rights, South America

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