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March 2012

Picture this: From a bird’s eye view, a car travels along a sunlit road, fringed with countryside. In the car, a family of three is smiling, relaxed, and enjoying the ride.

The mother puts on a CD, and all of a sudden the scene is ruptured by loud death metal, which only we the viewers can hear. The guttural soundtrack foreshadows the destiny of the family, which is to be kept hostage and tortured to death by two bored teens. Oblivious, the family’s still smiling.

The death toll of Spain’s civil war and the subsequent forty-year dictatorship that ruled the country is still debated, but estimate figures rest between 150,000 and 200,000 people.

Many, if not most, of those bodies still lay in mass graves, unidentified, and those who participated in mass executions, street killings, and illegal imprisonment under Franco’s regime, received amnesty for their crimes.