“Archeology of Memory: Villa Grimaldi” is a beautifully crafted, poignant and important story that explores healing through art. The film follows exiled musician Quique Cruz from the San Francisco Bay Area to Chile and back, as he creates a multimedia installation and musical suite to heal his wounds inflicted by state-sponsored torture of the Pinochet regime. We accompany Claudio as he visits former concentration camp sites and ruins, and talks to his mother about his disappearance and incarceration for the first time in thirty years.
To help tell his story, he searches for artist friends who were incarcerated with him. In these intimate conversations—with writer Nubia Becker, poet Anita Moreira and painter Guillermo Nuñez—we see these artists, and their art, as they re-tell their experiences as political prisoners and talk of how they use their art for healing.
“Acheology of Memory: Villa Grimaldi” opens a window of understanding on the repercussions of state-sponsored torture and disappearing of political prisoners. It talks directly to a specific segment of the “under represented”, both exiles in the U.S. and those living in their native countries, who lived Claudio’s experience. Using music, poetry, paintings and graphics, his story can bring a wide variety of people inside the experience of being tortured and disappeared—incarcerated with no due process— and give them valuable insight into the long-term effects. It calls attention to the denial of freedoms and human rights by nations out of fear and repression.