Amparo Garrido

The Silence that Remains

An encounter with the overwhelming beauty that is revealed when engaging with the world with sight and hearing.

Doxa International Wildlifefilms Film Festival

2021 Ecozine (Spain) / Best National Film Feature Award
2020 Suncine Environmental Film Festival (Spain) / Human Ecology Award

The Silence that Remains, feature film 2019

Juan Carlos was my dearest friend. Then he died very suddenly and left behind a huge silence. Afterwards, I found a newspaper clipping in my mailbox about a blind ornithologist who was passionate about birds. Juan Carlos had left it there for me. It served as my introduction to the spellbinding world of winged beings. Who would have thought that it would take a blind person to teach me how to see?

The Silence that Remains

Director’s statement

José Carlos Sires has been blind since the age of six. As an ornithologist, he is able to identify nearly 200 bird species that he cannot see by their songs or calls. “…It’s not that blind people have sharper hearing, but more a case of sighted people not taking the trouble to make good use of what they have…”

Those are a few excerpts from a newspaper article that my partner and best friend, Juan Carlos, left in my mailbox a few weeks before he died. He knew me better than anyone else, so he knew I would not be able to resist going out to the country and closing my eyes. I like to think that he left me that clipping behind as a kind of errand, an encounter with the kind of beauty that just takes your breath away when it is evoked by the two main ways of perceiving the world: sight and hearing.

This project has led me to explore in greater depth some of the themes that have proven essential in my work as an artist, such as mechanisms of non-verbal communication, the relation between animal nature, blindness, and absence, the search for subjective truth, and the effects of blind chance and/or the unconscious.

The film is structured around the WhatsApps audio messages that José Carlos and I exchanged over a period of two years. Together with Ana, my editor, we have assembled this film without following a preordained script, “eyes shut tight” as we listened to the material that emerged from our journey, with José Carlos at first and later on, just myself alone.

Awards and festival tour

  • 2019 Festival de Málaga (Spain)
  • 2019 Torino Film Festival (Italy)
  • 2020 Doxa documentary film festival (Canada)
  • 2020 Participation en SanFic 2020 (Chile)
  • 2020 eDOC Festival Internacional de Cine Documental (Ecuador)
  • 2020 Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF) (Nepal)
  • 2020 Suncine Environmental Film Festival (Spain) / Human Ecology Award
  • 2021 International Wildlife Film Festival 44th IWFF (EEUU)
  • 2021 Ecozine (Spain) / Best National Film Feature Award

Director filmography

  • 2019 The Silence that Remains. 71’ FIRST FEATURE FILM
  • 2009 Concerning hearing. 5’01” VIDEO ART
  • 2009 Preparing olives. 3’35” VIDEO ART
  • 2008 Fatherlands. 14’40” VIDEO ART
  • 2006 Don’t say a word. 2’39” VIDEO ART

Englsh press kit

Descargar en PDF

Technical specifications

Documentary / Fiction
Durarion: 71 min.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Original format: HD
Proyection format: DCP 2K 5.1 Color 1:85:1
Production: Amparo Garrido © 2019, Spain

Crew

Produced, Directed and Photographed by Amparo Garrido
Edited, Ana Pozo
Editing Advisor, Julia Juaniz
Sound, Manu Prieto
Sound Postproduction, Pecera Estudio
Color Grading, Frodo García-Conde

Characters

José Carlos Sires
Amparo Garrido

Leading press

  • El País
  • La Vanguardia
  • Javier Tolentino’s interview in Radio 3 (RNE) program "El séptimo vicio"
    (Starting at: 31:45)
  • Teresa Montoro's interview about cinema and Iberoamerica for the shows:
    "Hora América" (Radio Exterior RNE y Radio5 RNE), "De Cine" (Radio5 RNE) y "De Película" (RNE).