International Short Dox

Searching Heleny

Cadê Heleny?

2022 — 29' / Color



Heleny Guariba, philosopher and theatre director, disappeared in 1971 under the Brazilian dictatorship. Searching Heleny use the stitched and animated memories of her loved ones to reveal us what could not be told in words. Inspired by the arpilleras, tapestries made with leftovers of fabric and simple stitches under the horrors of Pinochet regime in Chile that become a unique form of political resistance.

Director Biography

Esther Vital is psychologist, cultural productor, textile artist, human rights defender and mom of three. As a PHD, she studies, researches and promotes arpilleras, a Chilean popular textile art born as a unique form of political resistance under Pinochet regime. She has contributed to disseminate arpilleras as a mean of expression and confrontation under violent and oppressive circumstances in Spain, Palestine and Brazil. Searching Heleny is an attemp to adapt to a cinematographic format this ancestral, soft, subversive and testimonial language and to speak about traumatic issues such as torture, kidnapping and disappearance.

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Esther Vital


Esther Vital

Giuliano Conti

Iñigo Oses Maestro


Giuliano Conti


Esther Vital


Laura Martinez Salinas


Ricardo Reis

Official Film Website


Esther Vital
+34 602676615
[email protected]
[email protected]