They create a documentary that puts together all the pieces of Silvia Filler’s story « Diario La Capital de Mar del Plata

By Paola Gallano

“After the first talk we had, the first thing I thought was ‘God, this is going to be with an impressive emotional charge’“. It is Lilac Filler the one who speaks, the younger sister of Silvia Filler and one of the protagonists of the film “The memory we inhabit”which is scheduled to premiere in 2022. It is the first feature film produced by the National University of Mar del Plata.

with address of Diego Ercolanoreconstructs the context and history of Silvia Filler, the architecture student who was murdered on December 6, 1971 in Mar del Plataafter one stray bullet will hit her in the middle of a university assembly. The student meeting was held in the building where the Rectorate, on Diagonal Alberdi and San Luis.


The classroom on the first floor of the Rectorate, where Filler was murdered. The space was rebuilt as it looked in 1971.


the girl from 18 yearswho was in the first year, participated in the meeting in which they were between 300 and 350 people and was interrupted by a group of violent armed men. It was debated what model of architecture professional the students were looking for: whether the social profile or the more liberal profile, among other questions linked to the university policy of that time.

Fifty years after that tragedy, the University of Mar del Plata undertook the complex task of putting together the puzzle that Silvia’s story entails: the atmosphere of the early ’70s, the classroom -the main hall in those years- as it looked when she was murdered, the investigation of the case, the memory of the witnesses who knew her and were there that day and the human side of this young engaged, who She was the daughter of a socialist dentist of Jewish origin, integrated into the Mar del Plata middle class.


“There is an ethical and affective commitment to Silvia’s memory that ended up capturing each one of us who worked in a very strong way”


All this coexists in this observational documentary, whose filming has just finished, which has already begun the post-production stage and which has a release date for this year. However, it does not remain only in the past: The film seeks to link that dark chapter of the city with the present and the future, through the participation of a group of students from the Arturo Illia National School. “The Illia boys go through and learn about issues from the past, so that they don’t happen again,” Ercolano tells LA CAPITAL.

In addition to Lila, who has a degree in Education and worked at the University, the film stars the journalist Federico Polleri, in charge of the investigation of the case. Y Marta Filler, Silvia’s older sister and an engineer by professionis another of the participants.


filler55Students of the Illia School, who participate in the film.


“Silvia’s murder had a very strong social impact in Mar del Plata, it was a dramatic event for the city. The issue of violence (from the ’70s) was not yet installed, so the impact was very high in society, a smaller society. And it was transferred generationally, ”observes Lila, who was 14 years old at the time of her sister’s death.

In the same sense, it points Alberto Rodríguez, secretary of Communication and Public Relations of the University: “The history of Silvia Filler is in the constitution, almost in the DNA of the university student, it is part of the institution collectively, even with the contradictions it may have had”.

For the official, the fifty years of the murder that were completed in December 2021 were “a necessary excuse” to face this film, which will seek to have an exhibition screen beyond the university community itself: think of landing at film festivals and a commercial premiere.


“The history of Silvia Filler is in the constitution, almost in the DNA of the university student”


“We saw that we had a maturation in terms of the team,” added Rodríguez, referring to the work group, among which are the theater teacher Belén Manetta, the artist Rosana Cassataro, Lucas Allú in directing assistance, Luciano Paciotti and Mariano Rendino in photography and camera, and Gabriel Virga and Mauro Carusso in sound, among other professionals.

“An emotional curve”

“At first I doubted, because because I didn’t know how long I could hold myself in this spaceyes it costs”, adds Lila, about the fact of bringing her sister to the present through memories and family stories.

“I think it is essential that Lila be the protagonist, because we are telling the film from within the theme -says Ercolano-. I knew who Filler was, but information and emotional issues grew in me from Lila. Federico can tell the investigation very well but Lila speaks from the first person, there is a very strong emotional curve in the film”.

With admirable temperance, the younger sister returns to her impressions. “One relates Silvia from the tragedy, but they (for the film crew) thought of recovering her from her youth of 18 years, something that we talked about in intimate spaces. They asked me what Silvia was like and sometimes she would blur because fifty years have passed, what was her voice like? I try to close my eyes and imagine it again”, Lila is sincere at 64 years old.


A moment from the shooting of "The memory we inhabit".

A moment from the filming of “The memory we inhabit”.


For Polleri, a key theme emerges throughout the documentary: “The difficulties that all exercise of memory presupposes”. And he deepens: “In addition to the hard data referring to crime specifically, a lot of things appeared that were commented on as true data and that were not, or at least there were different versions of the same event“, follow. For example, the number of people who were in that fateful assembly.

Polleri speaks sitting in the classroom on the first floor of the Rectorate, where the event took place. The space looks the same in 2022 as it did in 1971. “Evita Montonera” can be read on one of the walls, along with other political slogans from the ’70s.


“Lila speaks from the first person, there is a very strong emotional curve in the film”


“We got photos from the police file of the day after the fact where there is a lot of detail, you can see the bullet holes, the walls are photographed and we could see the graffiti”tells about the meticulous reconstruction work of the classroom, which from 1971 to today was used for various purposes, it was even a theater room.

“There is an ethical and affective commitment to Silvia’s memory that ended up capturing each of us who work in a very strong way,” says the journalist. It also highlights another fact: For many of those interviewed, the shock of Filler’s crime defined the beginning of a social or political militancy. “Silvia had a commitment, one of the witnesses said that she was the one who invited him to do social and territorial work, teaching an architecture committed to the territory, to the social.” She thus paints that little-known side of the university student, whose murderers were arrested immediately after the fact, were charged and prosecuted, although they were later released by an amnesty of 1973, during the government of Cámpora.

“During the Truth Trials (carried out in 2000 in Mar del Plata), it was shown that Silvia’s case was a hinge of everything that happened in the ’70sbecause the murderers were integrated to CNU and Triple A”Lilac adds.

That is why the woman and the work team are convinced that the film also makes its contribution when telling the story of political violence in Argentina.

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