Liliana Pereira is returning to her country where she will confront a past that meant persecution, imprisonment and the loss of custody of her son. As many other women victims of systematic violence, Liliana must choose between what her heart demands and what her conscience dictates. This is the core story of Migas de Pan (Breadcrumbs),by director Manane Rodríguez, a Uruguayan entry for Golden Globe consideration as Best Foreign Language Film.
The story told by Rodríguez could have happened in many other countries and in many other times in history. As the director recalls, the nazis did the same in the concentration camps where they sexually enslaved tens of thousands of women and girls. The Soviet army, in its advance towards Germany at the end of the Second World War, also raped tens of thousands of women. Former Yugoslavia, Kosovo and Iraq are another examples of the systematic violence against women. And of course, many Latin American countries.But Migas the Pan takes place in Uruguay in 1973, when the Uruguayan army orchestrated a coup d ́état and took power, a point in history less known in the international arena. That’s when the audience meets Liliana Pereira, a character portrayed by Cecilia Roth and Justina Bustos which Migas de Pan follows in two periods of her life, in her later and younger years.
For Manane Rodríguez this is familiar territory. With Migas de Pan she returns to themes she explored in 2001’s The Lost Steps, her take on the so-called “disappeared” in Argentina’s Dirty War. For the director, born in Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital which Rodríguez left after the coup to settle in Spain, the film posed a personal and special challenge for the filmmaker. As Rodríguez herself has stated, she wanted Migas de Pan to be “fair, free of artifice, morbidity or adornment” working without music and following the path of filmmakers she reveres like Jacques Rivette and Jean Luc Godard to tell he story. Migas de Pan is a movie about women, not only Uruguayan but all those who underwent repression “and those who did not”, she said.
Filmed in 2015 on locations in LA Coruña, Betanzos, Sada, Oleiros, Valdoviño, Cedeira and Cambre (Spain) as well as in Uruguay, Migas de Pan is also a coproduction between Uruguay and Spain which binds the countries that the filmmaker loves. “This film is the reconstruction of a life whose path was mapped out with volatile breadcrumbs”, explained Rodríguez. An important story, sometimes hard to take, in recognition of women around the world in a year in which more than ever Hollywood has decided to address the lack of diversity of race and gender in their stories.