Switzerland / Mexico. 2020. 78 min
March 2015, due to political pressure and false pretenses, Carmen Aristegui, the main voice of independent journalism in Mexico, is fired with her team from the MVS Radio station. The next day more than 200,000 people demonstrate and sign a petition calling for her return on air and the end of censorship. Despite this exceptional mobilization, the station does not give way.
Who is this woman behind famous Mexican journalist? How did she become a popular figure of resistance and freedom of expression in Mexico? Who are her main enemies? Why is she still alive when dozens of her colleagues have been murdered in recent years and months? Does she find herself trapped in a role she did not want to endorse?
This documentary captures Carmen’s enduring and dangerous fight to recreate a space of freedom of speech and keep informing her listeners. In some other country this might be an easier task, but in Mexico, where social and economic situation is dominated by drug traffickers and political corruption, Carmen and her team have an uphill battle. Through testimonials, archive footage and social networks excerpts, we follow Carmen and her team in a large ongoing investigation conducted alongside the construction of her new internet radio station.
RADIO SILENCE immerses us in the fight of Carmen Aristegui, a woman inhabited by an extraordinary courage. A fight against monopolistic concentration of the media, against an authoritarian and corrupt political system, all in a climate undermined by threats and constant intimidation of drug traffickers.
Born in Mexico in 1981. Received BA in Visual Communication. Attended EICTV (International Cinema and TV School of San Antonio de los Baños), documentary department. Worked as a director’s assistant. 2011 Exchange program to live in Switzerland. 2012-14 Masters in Cinema Studies, a joint program between ECAL (École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne) and HEAD (Haute École d’Art et Design) in Geneva.
2019 Silence Radio, 78’
2015 Muchachas, 64’
2014 Dottor Clown, 52’
2014 Cuba Calling, 25’
2013 Hilda e Helena, 22’
2010 Si seguimos vivos, 24’
2009 Sustento, 13’
2009 La plaga de la cereza, 10’
I came to Switzerland several years ago not only for my filmmaking studies, but also as an immigrant escaping the daily corruption and violence holding hostage my home country, Mexico. Although I was feeling safe in a peaceful Swiss socio-political reality, on the 13th of March 2015 I had a feeling that wave of injustice and violence crossed the Atlantic and overwhelmed my apartment in Geneva.
This news shocked me for two reasons. The voice of one of the last incorruptible journalists in my country was silenced, but I was also deprived of my right to unbiased and necessary information. A right that I was sharing with an audience of over 18 million Mexican!
I was listening to Carmen on the radio for more than 20 years. Back when I was a teenager, Carmen already played an important role in shaping my identity as an independent woman and she opened my eyes for social injustice.
Once in Geneva, I continued to follow her daily its broadcast, mainly to keep myself updated with the latest news from my country, but also as her speech questioned freedom in a broad sense. Her sudden silence first created a feeling of a great loss, I was an orphan of truth. I was obsessively seeking answers to this arbitrary act.
During the following weeks I sank into a deep concern which went far beyond the Mexican context. Couple of months after finishing my first feature film, Muchachas (Visions du Real, 2015), I transformed my anger into a creative impulse and decided to invest myself in writing this story.