is documentary filmmaker Patricia Goudvis’ follow-up to If the Mango Tree Could Speak, a film about ten children, aged between twelve and fifteen, who grew up during the civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador.
In If The Mango Tree Could Speak, Goudvis captures, through a series of poignant vignettes, the children’s pain of living through conflict, loss and violence, as well as their hopes for a better future.
Civil war has had a deep and long-lasting affect upon Salvadorean and Guatemalan society. In When We Were Young, There Was a War, an interactive web documentary, Goudvis revisits the ten children, now young adults, and explores their experience, and that of Salvadoran and Guatemalan society in general, of life in the aftermath of the armed conflicts. In a statement, the filmmaker said:
“I’ve kept in touch with about half the kids over the years, and now I’ve located the rest. The four from Guatemala all still live there. Of the six Salvadorans, two stayed in El Salvador, three immigrated to the US and one to Australia. Some are single, others are married with children; some finished college, others nvever went to school. But all have grappled, in one way or another, with the losses they experienced as children surrounded by war. Finding out how they have done so, what choices they have made, and their thoughts and feelings about their earlier years is the purpose of making the follow up interactive web documentary.”
“In the original film, I asked who was winning in the battle between fear and hope? I wondered if the children’s spirits had been crushed and if their scars would be permanent. Now, with the benefit of time passed, I am eager to peer deeper into how individuals are profoundly marked by early experiences, as well as to reveal the strength of character that allows them to carry on with their lives.”
Goudvis’ When We Were Young, There Was a War is an excellent project which investigates post-conflict society in Guatemala and El Salvador through the eyes of ten young people who witnessed first-hand the horrors of war.
Using the medium of interactive web documentary, Goudvis interconnects interviews of the children when they were young with interviews of them as adults, and to deliver an interactive experience, she uses video material, text, photographs, and sound recording to provide in-depth contextual and historical information about the wars and the current human rights situation in both countries.
To view this documentary please visit: www.centralamericanstories.com/characters/dora
For more information about Patricia Goudvis and her work see: www.patgoudvis.com