Story of 6 Jesuit martyrs in El Salvador told in the film “Llegaron de noche”

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In 1989, Fr. Ignacio Ellacuria and five other Jesuits were murdered at the hands of the Salvatorian army. 'Llegaron de noche' tells their story. It required several years of research and was made with the help of the Society of Jesus.

Director, 'Llegaron de noche'
I have made 15 films and this one took the longest to put together in organizing the production, among other reasons, because of the pandemic. I think we had to have at least told the Jesuits what we were doing. After that, we had some meetings and a very fluid relationship. They helped connect us with numerous contacts.

Imanol Uribe chose Juana Acosta to star in the lead role as a cleaning lady, who was the only witness to the murder of Ellacuría and his companions.

To write the script, the director went to interview her in the small town in California where she hid after fleeing El Salvador. 33 years later, she still wants her village to remain anonymous.

Director, 'Llegaron de noche'
Lucía's character is this humble woman who, in order to defend the truth, is capable of anything. In these times of fake news and when the truth is worthless and trampled...I think it's very emblematic. Despite different forms of pressure, she goes ahead with her truth. And she doesn't understand why the truth cannot, as the film shows, be told. Why can't the truth triumph over everything?

Uribe insists that the six Jesuits murdered in El Salvador knew how to stand up for the people. He says they found themselves in a 'hornet's nest' because they put two very difficult tasks together. On the one hand, they denounced the injustices of those suffering under the country's dictatorship.

And on the other hand, they educated the children of the military leaders on human values. He believes they were killed for trying to stop the war.

Director, 'Llegaron de noche'
I admired them a lot. I think they did incredible work for the weak. Among other reasons, I think they were killed because there were many people who did not want the war to end. The Jesuits were trying to bring about peace, agreements, and so on. Curiously, however, their death accelerated the end of the war. I think they were with the people. But it's inevitable; politics are involved. If you defend the weak, you are somehow getting into politics.

So far only one of those involved in the murders, former colonel Inocencio Montano, has been convicted in a trial held at the Spanish National Court.

Imanol Uribe regrets that the conspirators were pardoned so quickly in the initial trials in El Salvador.

He now tries to pay tribute to the martyrs' memory with 'Llegaron de noche' and continues to call for those responsible to be convicted.



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