Saturday, November 9, 2013

Movie Review: ****The Disappeared About Argentina's Dirty War

This movie is a very bad adoption story.  "The Disappeared" is the story about a baby, whose parents were killed when he was five months old.  It is about Argentina's Dirty War, and about "The Disappeared."  It is directed by Peter Sanders.  I watched it through Netflix DVD.  It was in Spanish with subtitles.  It is suspected as many as 400 babies were taken, and adopted by other families.  Of these 77 have been discovered.
Horacio with his mother as a baby
Horacio, did not know who he was until he was 25.  He had been adopted as a baby.  However he had inklings he did not fit in.  His physical appearance was different from that of his birth family.  He did not really feel loved. As a result, as a teenager he was depressed.  He contemplated suicide, he had thoughts of throwing himself off an upper story apartment.  It wasn't until when he was 25 that his girlfriend encouraged him to seek out his past, and to resolve his doubts.

Horacio went to a program called "Las Abuelas" (The Grandmothers.)  Through this program they were able to perform DNA testing, and prove that he was in fact the birth child of a couple from "The Disappeared."  Before receiving the results of the DNA testing he confronted his adoptive parents (or kidnapper parents depending on where your sympathies lie) and asked them, "Am I your son?"  The answer was, "In our hearts yes, but biologically no."

With the DNA results Horacio was able to piece together his history.  His parents had been married, put were also at odds with the government.  His parents were heavily involved in social causes, and perhaps they also were part of the Monteneros (radical Peronista group) or perhaps just caught in the government sweep of radicals which was going on at the time.  Horacio's father, Adriano, was killed in Cordoba.  His mother, in Buenos Aires, went into hiding.  When the baby was five months old, there was a military action against the apartment where she and others were hid.  The military placed a bomb in the stairwell and destroyed most of the apartment.  They also shot at them from across the street.  Lina,  Horacio's mother, put him in a cupboard and covered him with blankets and pillows and mattress.  This saved his life.  She was killed received eight wounds.  Her baby was uninjured.  He was taken by Lt Col Hernan Tefzlaff.  His brother-in-law wanted to adopt a baby.  However in the end his wife did not want the child.  The maid of Colonel Tefzlaff stepped forward and asked if she could take the baby.  There was the chance he would have been disposed of otherwise.  This took place, however, in an air of secrecy and fear.  

This secrecy was broken after 25 years.  Horacio was able to re-embrace his birth family, cousins and uncles.  His greatest regret, is that all of his grandparents had passed away, the last five years earlier.  One of his grandmothers had committed suicide, perhaps partially from the  trauma of these events.  He has uncles and aunts and cousins, who have a similar appearance.  He has been able to discover the remains of his parents, and removed then from unmarked graves or coffins, and give them proper funerals.  He now works with Las Abuelas, reaching out to others who may be "stolen" orphans.  

As for his adoptive parents, the results have not been so pleasant.  His adoptive mother has a broken heart over the son she raised as her own, with her daughter, who now does not want any thing to do with her.  Also she and her husband both spent time in jail, as they hid the truth, and falsified documents so as to be able to adopt Horacio (Cesar is his adoptive name.)  Living with a secret, even if there is an air of danger because of the military situation, is not healthy for anyone.

In applying this story to our adoption story, Tony has turned five this week.  His physical characteristics are nothing like ours.  Tony is tall and skinny, while both Sheri and I are short and plump (polite word.)  Tony's hair is curly, and the only curly hair in our family is through in-laws and cousins (Charity's Anthony and Dianna's Mark.)  However we love Tony every day, and let him know to us he is a miracle and a blessing.  We love him, and try to tell him these in word and action.  He knows he is adopted, and because of this he is special.  We have shared pictures of his birth parents with him from "Facebook."  We also share notes and messages they pass along.  However we also feel we are walking a type rope.  How do you introduce physical contact?  How do you make sure you baby is same emotionally and physically?  These are questions we are still answering as we live this life.

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