Presentation of the event
As part of the screening of the film “Les Minuscules” directed by Khristine Gillard, on Thursday February 10 at 7pm at Cinéma Nova in Brussels, the International Human Rights Network Europe (RIDHE) is supporting the promotion of the film with the aim of raising public awareness of the social and political situation in Nicaragua, and denouncing state maneuvers.
The screening will be followed by two young women, Nicaraguan political refugees in Belgium and students at the University of Antwerp, who will illustrate and testify to their struggle against the Ortega-Murillo tyranny.
Context of the documentary
The feature-length documentary, Las y los Minúscules (150′, 2021), directed by Khristine Gillard and filmed between 2014 and 2019 in Nicaragua follows the process of resistance and the evolution of a citizens’ struggle against the abuses of power by the Ortega-Murillo regime.
This struggle was initiated by the Peasant Movement against the Pharaonic project to build the Grand Canal Interocéanique – a canal that would slice the country in two, at the foot of the active volcano, through farmland, lakes and forests, and lead to the expropriation of hundreds of thousands of peasants over a strip 20 km wide and almost 300 km long, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.
Faced with the multiple abuses of power, the peasant struggle is joined by other social movements – the student, feminist, environmentalist, LGBTQI+ movements and, in April 2018, the insurrection explodes. The authorities dubbed the opponents “the minuscule”.
Khristine continued to shoot clandestinely, with her Nicaraguan friend and collaborator Leonor Zúniga at the camera, accompanying the Minuscules’ struggle, mainly carried by the voices of Doña Chica, from the anti-canal peasant movement, Elba, an environmental activist and educator, founder of a rural school on the edge of the forest ; Gaby, from the student movement; Elyla, queer activist performer ; and Gioconda, ex-Sandinista guerrilla and poet – from the edge of the trench to exile.
After a premiere at Flagey, the film is beginning its life at festivals, and has been selected in international competition at the Turin Film Festival. We obviously hope that the film will be shared with a wide range of audiences, so that this little-known story can be heard against a backdrop of continuing violent repression by Nicaragua’s illegitimate government.