Pat Goudvis: When We Were Young There Was A War

A friend in Guatemala sent me the link to a website designed by Pat Goudvis, When We Were Young / There Was a War. Some of you may be familiar with Goudvis from her documentary about adoption from Guatemala, “Goodbye Baby.”

The site features archival interviews with children whose families were affected by Guatemala’s armed conflict, and reflections by those children, now adults, 20 years later. Text on the site describes the conflict, with a link for teacher resources. My 13-year-old daughter watched the interviews of the children from Guatemala, and was moved by the testimonials and footage. Below is an excerpt from the introduction.

“… As I visited people and communities in Guatemala and El Salvador during and after the civil wars, in the 1980s-90s, I wondered about the experience of the children. That led me to make a documentary film in 1993 called “If the Mango Tree Could Speak,” featuring ten adolescents from those two countries, telling their stories of growing up in the midst of war.

When We Were Young / There Was A War continues the story of those same people today, who are now adults, many with children of their own. I’ve kept in touch with most of them over the years and filmed them again in 2012.”


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