Nina’s father is on a "work trip" and she and the rest of her family are temporarily living with the grandparents. We are set in La Paz during the eighties, a time full of revolutions and uncertainty in Bolivia.
Across the shared cozy patio, her niece Peppa lives with her family.
The film starts on the eve of Nina's birthday. Curfew is in effect and they all shelter in the dark, but everyone is used to living like this.
Outside, there is a lot of commotion. So Nina calms her niece down with the knowledge that what they hear are just fireworks.
And although the adults pretend all is well, Nina suddenly notices fear within them. She doesn't understand this, certainly because tomorrow is her birthday. And that is an exciting day!
During the next day, while eavesdropping for surprises for her birthday, she discovers that the sounds at night are not fromfireworks, but gunshots!
Nina doesn't understand. Did the adults lie to her? She starts questioning why they would pretend that all is fine.
She feels that something is off... but what? What are they hiding? What is happening outside? And why is she not allowed to go outside of the house?
It becomes clear to us that Nina is living in hiding, but she doesn’t know. And this not knowing puts her life in danger.
A Las Escondidas, Hide & Seek follows a realization process that every child goes through in their tiny lives: that uneasy feeling thatsomeone we trusted has fooled us. Some discoveries can be small, but in this story it’s a life saving or dangerous one.
With this story Wendy Montellano wants to explore the consequences of a breach of trust between parent and child, freshly told from the point of view of the child. We don’t focus on the inner conflict that parents or caretakers raising children in dangerous circumstances endure, because to Wendy's opinion the adult struggle is indirectly passed on to the children.
They may not exactly know what’s happening, but they can feel it. As a result, children might not be scared of the dangerous circumstances - they don’t know they exist - but rather are afraid their loved ones are untrustworthy. Or worse: the child may start to distrust their own feelings about circumstances around them.
A Las Escondidas is a drama that highlights the strength of a loving family during a crisis. The adults do their best to protect their children from unnecessary trauma - forgetting that children are emotionally very intelligent. Raising the question: to what extent is it right to hide the truth to loved ones for their own protection?
Title: “A Las Escondidas” (“Hide and seek”)
Shooting Location: La Paz, Bolivia
Country: Belgium Languages: Spanish / Quechua
subtitles: EN NL FR Running time: 16 minutes
Color / Digital
Director and screenwriter: Wendy Montellano Camacho - firstname.lastname@example.org