Honor thy father and mother. José-Luis Peñafuerte does this in the most effective way possible in his documentary Los caminos de la memoria (poster, official site). The son of Spanish exiles, this Brussels-born film maker has been on-topic since his very first documentary, Niños, about the orphans of the Spanish Civil War.
With Los caminos de la memoria, Peñafuerte probes the nature of history, which for the forty years of Franco's rule following his victory in the Civil War, he "owned." The only official memorials are to the Falangist (fascist) dead, even now, more than three decades after Franco's death.
Quietly, scraping away at the layers of silence, Spaniards of all ages are searching for their version of the truth. As "Z" screenwriter Jorge Semprun, another Spanish exile has said, the values of the defeated Republic - democracy and social justice - are those of the current democratic monarchy. But officially, a kind of omerta has reigned, where political justice is forsworn in the interests of keeping the peace.
Octogenarians like Semprun, poet Marcos Ana, and others aren't normally "stars" in feature films, but they shine in this documentary. People who look like your grandpa or maiden aunt keep a class of teenagers spellbound, and you can see the youngsters doing the mental math: she was my age when she was rounded up; he wasn't much older than me when he was tortured...
Francisco Franco was a friend of Hitler and Mussolini, but after treading a fine line to avoid direct involvement in World War II, he morphed into a Cold War anticommunist ally of the West. His killing fields are spread like blood spattered on the map of Spain (a particularly effective shot has a researcher pinning red dots at excavation sites across the country).
This is a very topical film: crusading Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon was recently chastised for having wanted to delve too energetically into Spain's murky Civil War and Franco past.
But the guilty need not fear the victims and their families. Most would just be happy, like the families in Morocco's Nos lieux interdits, for a decent burial for their loved ones. And once you raze Franco's notorious Carabanchel prison in Madrid - the film shows it in all its sinister glory just before its destruction - you lose another historical marker. Like bulldozing Auschwitz in the name of reconciliation.
Reconciliation - with whom? Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini are long gone. It's their modern day fan club that we need to worry about. Los caminos de la memoria at last gives a voice to those who resisted.