The following documentary was produced in the Fall 2019 “Documentary Traditions and Human Rights” course with Peter Lucas.
Para Soledad is a film I made with Soledad Mantilla in December of 2019. I wanted to celebrate her life and all her hard work, so I simply asked if she would tell me about her life. We recorded and filmed this over two days. Para Soledad contains many generative themes of human rights; the right to family, to reasonable work, and touches on the right to heritage and culture. Through the telling of a single story, one can learn so much about human rights. When Soledad speaks about her journey to Italy she tells a personal story within a larger context; Peru, in her days growing up there, was not a place where she could find the necessary means to sustain herself and her children. We travel all the time now, but how strange it must have been to get on a plane and leave two children behind to go take care of other children in a different country. She talks about feeling alone and not speaking the language or sharing the same cultural familiarity in this foreign place. But she also talks about all of her sacrifices being worth it, positively affirming a right to choose to make your life how you want it-not to conform to a life chosen for you. Soledad told me how wonderful it has been to be able to travel all over the world, pay for her children’s education, and connect with different families. In her telling this story, something she regarded as uninteresting and not worth telling, she is illustrating the beautiful complexities of each human’s life; the sacrifices, the rewards, the loss, and the reflection of a life lived. I am so honored to be the person to help Soledad tell her story.