Tomorrow, Thursday, at 7.30 p.m. at the Cine Embajadores in Madrid (Glorieta Sta. María de la Cabeza, 5), there will be a screening of the documentary Estos muros (These Walls), followed by a discussion with Cristina Almeida (in the photo), a Spanish lawyer and politician specialising in labour and family affairs, and Sergio Riesco Roche, professor at the Complutense and expert in the educational dissemination of public policies on memory and forced labour in the context of dictatorial regimes.
Estos muros is an investigative documentary, which arises from the chance encounter of a poem written in the ruins of a building near a railway track, in the childhood of the filmmaker Alberto Pascual. From this solitary wasteland in the Sierra de Madrid he discovers one of the darkest episodes in the history of Spain: the Redención de penas por el Trabajo (Redemption of Sentences for Work), a legal artifact that allowed public and private companies to use Republican prisoners as forced labour during Franco’s dictatorship. In the film, we witness the filmmaker’s research, delving into archives and libraries, listening to the children of reprisals, meeting with childhood friends with whom he had played in these ruins, unaware of their origin and significance, and interviewing experts who have studied the system of Redención de penas from their various disciplines. In the research we discovered testimonies, publications and photographs, which explain how the Redemption of Penalties for Work was used in practically all sectors of the economy, throughout the country. Tickets can be purchased at this link.