The Pico Reja mass grave is located in the Seville cemetery and it is estimated that it can house more than 2,000 civilian victims of Franco’s repression. And this Thursday it has arrived at the European Parliament with the screening of the documentary Reja Peak, “a reconstruction of memory that tries to create a space for reflection, that analyzes the past and the keys to understanding the present”, according to its creators.
The film was screened this Thursday at the European Parliament as part of the ‘Democratic Memory in the European Context’ conference, organized by the socialist MEP Lina Gálvez. Directed by Remedios Malvárez and Arturo Andújar, the work documents the recent opening of the Pico Reja mass grave in Seville, one of the largest in Europe.
Andalusia was one of the territories hardest hit by Franco’s repression. More than 50,000 executions took place, a third of the Spanish victims, and there were more disappearances than those suffered by Argentina and Chile combined during their military dictatorship. The graves of the municipal cemetery of Seville house more than 14,000 bodies, of which more than 4,500 victims of reprisals have been documented.
Through the meetings of two artists who come together to compose a musical work about this grave and the testimonies of the relatives of the victims, issues of an era in Spain that endure are addressed. “Opening the Pico Reja pit is a pending debt with the memory of those repressed and with the very history of this country”, say the creators.
The day has counted with the interventions Juan Miguel Baquero, journalist specialized in Historical Memory and Human Rights and author of The country of forgetfulness: From Franco’s genocide to endless silence (Roca Editorial); and Remedios Malvárez and Arturo Andújar, directors of ‘Pico Reja. The truth that the earth hides
The pit is the true protagonist of this film, and develops its own story, even discovering new facts that were not documented. Through interviews with relatives of victims of reprisals, many of them first-person witnesses of the events, the film explains how and why such events occurred, addressing issues of a time that persist today.
As part of this story, the singer Rocío Márquez and the poet and composer Antonio Manuel Rodríguez come together to compose a musical work about the pit: The half lullaby. Both artists, through their encounters, shape the original song of the film.