“When it comes to child sexual abuse, stigma and silence exist across cultures.”
In a recent interview with Latina, filmmaker Jasmin Mara López explained what motivated her to create “Silent Beauty,” a documentary about the sexual abuse that persisted for generations in her family. “I wanted to encourage a dialogue around it and learn how it translated within other families,” Lopez, who found similar stories in other Latino families, told Latina.
For years, Lopez silently lived with the trauma of sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather — “a highly regarded minister” — but when her niece was born, Lopez realized she couldn’t stay silent any longer. So she came forward. And then other members of her family came forward as well.
“Silent Beauty” explores the culture of sexual abuse and the silence that enables and empowers it.
SILENT BEAUTY / VIMEO
In her interview with Latina, Lopez described the problems families like hers face when dealing with sexual abuse. “If anyone tried to speak up, they were manipulated and silenced, made to feel ashamed. No one denounced the crimes. Misogyny, the need to preserve our family’s image and stigma were at the root of this silence.” Her documentary, “Silent Beauty,” was her attempt to remove sexual abuse from the environment that empowers it.
“Silent Beauty” is made up of a collection her family’s archival Super 8 footage.
SILENT BEAUTY / INDIEGOGO
On the IndieGoGo page for “Silent Beauty,” Lopez explains that the film will consist of her family’s collection of “silent home movies.” Going through these old videos helped Lopez heal, as she saw her family in a new light, and developed a compassion for those who dealt with similar abuse. Much of the film’s budget is dedicated to converting the Super 8 footage.
Adding another layer to the the importance of ‘silence,’ Lopez explains that around the time she came forward, she began to lose her hearing.
Lopez says that losing her hearing only inspired her to go deeper for meaning and how silence affects those around her.
On the IndieGoGo page, Lopez explains:
“The hearing loss followed a series of traumatic events, and as a result, I entered a new form of isolation. I went inwards. I often found myself deep in thought while everything moved around me, examining my emotions or considering a deeper meaning to all aspects of my life. This loss was poetry as it created a space that brought depth, meaning, beauty.”
Watch the trailer for “Silent Beauty” here.
SILENT BEAUTY / VIMEO
As Latina reports, “Silent Beauty” is expected to have a 2017 release date. If you or anyone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, hotlines, like RAINN, are available 24/7.
[H/T] LATINA: This Documentary Tackles The Culture Of Silence Around Child Sexual Abuse In Latinx Homes