San Sebastián, Sept. 22 (EFE) .- Women who reported being sexually abused in the Lleida theater classroom as teenagers found a speaker this Thursday at the San Sebastián Festival, where they presented, out of competition, “The roof yellow », a documentary by Isabel Coixet that collects their stories.
When the facts occurred, they were 13, 14 or 15 years old and could not understand that they were victims of a system of “manipulation through seduction”, as they explain in the documentary. When they finally dared to go to court in 2018, the case had barred.
His molesters were two teachers from the center, one of them, Antonio Gómez, became director and was over 30 years old. For his students he was a “reference”, a “transgressive” and “creative” type towards which they felt a deep admiration that manipulated them.
Coixet decided to make the documentary after reading the investigation published by the newspaper “Ara” in 2020, as he told Thursday at a press conference.
“The article gave a glimpse of powerful voices,” said the Catalan director, winner of the National Film Award 2020. “After speaking to them for the first time, it seemed incredible to me that he had prescribed: the prosecution recognized the truth. told the facts in their writing, but said they had prescribed.
The events, which according to the account of “Ara” would have taken place over 20 years, although the complaint concerned only the period between 2001 and 2008, included highly sexualized classes, with touching in which the teacher participated, which he took the minors to his home, met them on Sundays or went to the changing rooms when they changed.
“He made you feel special because he chose you”, says one of them in the documentary, Goretti Narcis, who at 15 had sex with him thinking she was “the only one”, like his other companions (there were nine they reported).
In a press conference, Marta Pachón explained that the reason for introducing herself is to encourage “those who have not dared to speak out”, and Miriam Fuentes added that it is “that we are changing history and the social discourse that promotes this, which a little by little the abusers feel less free to do so ».
However, they see the reopening of the case as very difficult because there should be new complaints from a more recent period for this, and they know how difficult it is to take the step.
“The real act of courage is recognizing that you have been abused,” 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 have to change the chip when it comes to abuse and victims,” added Fuentes, “Isabel was not at all sensationalist and it is the responsibility of the media not to show the image of a bereaved person because no one wants to identify with that.”
In this sense, they appreciated the fact that “The Yellow Roof” does not focus on the harassment suffered, but on the profile of the attacker, despite Gómez refusing to participate in the documentary.
“I think he is the protagonist,” Palau pointed out. “The predator repeats his behavior, Isabel has been able to put the attention where we wanted, on him, not on us, because it is he who must feel shame and guilt”.
The lack of mechanisms to support these complaints is also criticized. “Some of our colleagues, when they talked to the school, they questioned them, they didn’t understand, there are no tools because people are not trained,” Palau said.
Coixet said it was difficult to obtain archival material and that nothing was provided by the classroom, everything was “deleted” and the images included were taken on cell phones by parents or students.
For the 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 they had done something wrong, we loved each other charged the institution.
She also confessed that she was “intrigued” by what she called the “economic plot” of the case, because Gómez received nearly € 60,000 in compensation when he was expelled from the center. “That compensation is a slap in the face, it’s something I would have liked to investigate, but nobody wants to talk about things.”