Isabelle Coixet portrays the methods of a sexual abuser in The Yellow Roof.

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

SAN Sebastian, 22 September (EFE) — Women who reported being sexually abused in Lleida’s theater class as teenagers found a loudspeaker this Thursday at the San Sebastian Festival, where they out-of-competition presented The Yellow Roof ”, a documentary by Isabelle Coixet that collects their stories.

They were 13, 14 or 15 years old when the events took place and could not understand that they were victims of the “manipulation through seduction” system, as they explain in the documentary. When they finally dared to go to court, in 2018 the case was registered.

His offenders were two teachers from the center, one of them, Antonio Gomez, became director and was over 30 years old. For his students, he was a “standard”, “transgressive” and “creative” type, for whom they had a deep admiration, which he manipulated them.

Koychet decided to make the documentary after reading an investigation published by the Ara newspaper in 2020, which he revealed at a press conference this Thursday.

“The article allowed us to see powerful voices,” said the Catalan director, winner of the National Film Award 2020. “After the first conversation with them, it seemed incredible to me that she ordered: the prosecution admitted the truth of the facts in their letter, but He said that he ordered.

The events, which, according to the Ara report, took place over a period of 20 years, although the complaint only covered the period from 2001 to 2008, included extremely sexual activities, in which a teacher who took minors to her home touchingly participated, he met with them on Sundays or went into the dressing room when they were changing.

“He made you feel special because he chose you,” says one of them in the documentary, Goretti Narcis, who had sex with him at age 15, thinking she was “the one” like her other friends (there were nine of those reported).

At a press conference, Marta Pachon explained that the reason for the appearance was to encourage “those who did not dare to speak out”, while Miriam Fuentes added that it was about “changing history and social discourse that contributes to this, to the fact that little little by little the offenders feel less free in this.”

However, they find it very difficult for them to re-open the case, because for this there would have to be new complaints from a later period, and they know how difficult it is to take this step.

“A real act of courage is to admit that you have suffered abuse,” said Sonia Palau. For them, the key was to go hand in hand. “Our journey together was healing and we learned about abuse and sisterhood.”

“We need to change the chip when we talk about violence and sacrifice,” Fuentes added, “Isabelle did not seek sensationalism at all, and the media have an obligation not to show the image of a mourner, because no one wants to identify with it.” .

In that sense, they were grateful that “The Yellow Roof” focuses not on the harassment they endured, but on the profile of the abuser, despite Gomez’s refusal to participate in the documentary.

“I think he’s the main character,” Palau said. “The Predator repeats his behavior, Isabelle was able to focus where we wanted, on him and not on us, because he is someone who should feel shame and guilt.”

The lack of mechanisms to support these complaints has also been criticized. “Some of our colleagues, when they spoke to the school, they asked them questions, they didn’t understand anything, there are no tools, because people are not trained,” Palau said.

Koixet said that it was difficult to obtain archival materials and that nothing was provided from the Classroom, everything was “erased” and the images included were taken on mobile phones by parents or students.

For a director of films like The Secret Life of Words or My Life Without Me, the “worst” thing is that when they finally managed to break the silence, they made them feel like they did something wrong. that they loved each other” charge an establishment fee.

She also admitted that she was “intrigued” by what she called the “economic plot” of the case, because Gomez received nearly €60,000 in compensation when he was expelled from the centre. “This compensation is a slap in the face, it’s something I would like to get into, but no one wants to talk about it.”

Magdalena Tzanis

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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