Erasing Dad is a feature documentary film that follows six fathers who are fighting to raise their children after a divorce and features interviews with professionals who admit, on camera, that they do everything possible to keep children and fathers separated. Click here to watch for free on YouTube
In Argentina, fathers are punished for wanting to be active parents to their children after a divorce. Latino men are stereotyped as “machistas”, but many dads in Argentina want to actively participate in their children´s lives after divorce. The justice system favors women and assumes that men are always violent aggressors, and allows fake accusations to prosper. In cases where there are no false accusations, the courts do nothing when visitation orders are not followed. As a result, many fathers are unjustly prevented from seeing their children.
Erasing Dad is more than a documentary, it is a movement. We have more than 30,000 followers on our Facebook page in Spanish and have conducted more than 50 television, radio and print interviews. We are changing the debate about parental alienation not only in Argentina (which approved joint custody recently) but around the world. Families have been reunited after their children or the judges involved in their cases viewed the film. Even attempts to censor the film (it was removed from Youtube numerous times, theaters were pressured not to show it) have not prevented us from raising awareness and turning frustrated families into activists. For that reason, we have decided to keep filming and make Erasing Family, which will be a truly international documentary with stories from the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and Latin America. The focus will be on the children who suffer and entire families that are erased, from moms to dads, grandparents and siblings. Please stay tuned for more updates about how you can get involved. You can find Erasing Family on Facebook.
We just uploaded a new version of the complete film Erasing Dad (Borrando a papá, Argentina 2014) to Youtube for the countries where the original has been blocked. Click on CC for English Subtitles.
or on vimeo https://vimeo.com/109516406 password: erasing link that works on Youtube in some countries: https://youtu.be/DyhkXT_dgdk This film can be embedded on any website or shown in any venue–please let us know if you want to set up a screening with Director Q&A or need DVD copies at firstname.lastname@example.org
Video about the impact Erasing Dad has had and why we need your support to make Erasing Dad part 2:
Trailer, with more than 150,000 views:
contact in the US: email@example.com
BACKGROUND ON CENSORSHIP AND ERASING DAD:
Censorship is not common in Argentina, yet one film has recently become the subject of prior restraint. The documentary Borrando a Papá (Erasing Dad) was originally set to premiere on August 28th, but it was suddenly pulled down at the behest of a non-governmental organization that criticized its release.
It managed to be shown in movie theaters in Argentina on October 2nd, and was released on Youtube the same day. But on October 24, 2014-Civil Court Judge Guillermo Blanch has ordered that “Erasing Dad” cannot be shown in Argentina until three minutes of the film are removed. The documentary is about divorced fathers who cannot see their children due to the action of family courts in Argentina.
Co-directors Ginger Gentile (USA) and Sandra Fernandez Ferreira (Argentina) and Producer Gabriel Balanovsky (Argentina) removed Erasing Dad from its official Youtube Channel and were forced to cancel all projections in Argentina. Numerous unauthorized copies circulate on the internet, including some on Argentine newspapers internet portals, in protest of the court order. Projections outside of Argentina remain unaffected by the order.
The three professionals who requested the injunction are medical doctor María Cristina Ravazzola, lawyer Hilda María Radrizzani and psychologist Susana Tesone, of the PIAFF center, claiming that they were tricked into participating in the documentary. Ravazzola is quoted in the Clarín newspaper: “We were interviewed for over an hour but we were edited and intercut with money signs ($), which is damaging.”
“These professionals signed appearance releases,” said co-director Fernandez Ferreira, “but don´t like the context in which they are shown. They provide court ordered therapy to reunite children with their fathers but admit to prolonging the process to prevent fathers and children from reuniting.
Many of the people asking for censorship were interviewed for the film, where they admit, on camera, that they do everything possible to prevent fathers from seeing their children. They also want to revert the assumption of innocence in these cases. In the words of one psychologist: “If I say that a father is guilty, he is guilty until he can prove his innocence. . . we need to change the constitution so that in these types of cases so the burden of proof is on the father.”
After the movie theater premier was cancelled, the filmmakers arranged a screening open to the public on September 2 at the Colegio Público de Abogados (city law guild) but it was cancelled a few days prior. “Technical difficulties”, were cited but leaked emails revealed that two government functionaries, including a city congresswoman, had personally asked for the movie’s ban, citing its “erred focus”. The congresswoman, Gladys Gonzalez, has debated with Gentile on the radio defending her position and has received a firestorm of criticism on Twitter and Facebook for her views.
The case has since taken to the press, with several media outlets commenting on the issue. “They say they don’t want to censor the movie, just to prevent its exhibition,” reported the newspaper Perfil regarding the opposing NGO. “That’s like saying you don’t want a person dead, you just want him to stop breathing”. Ámbito Financiero likened the situation to “an act of prior restraint”. Of the affair, CineFreaks said: “A movie’s projection shouldn’t be censored at the request of those who haven’t seen it. It’s already helped open up a debate on a long-forgotten issue: fathers”.
The movie has only grown in popularity and support across social media, both locally and internationally, garnering over 17,000 Facebook “likes”, over 60,000 trailer views. “30 to 40 fathers suffering contact us a day” as co-director Fernández Ferreira mentioned in an interview with newspaper La Nación, which has also reported on the “strong controversy”. This level of media coverage and social media following is unheard of for a small documentary in Argentina.
Lawyers, judges and politicians have also begun to meet with the filmmakers and experts to see how the current system can be modified, as the reaction to the film shows that there is a critical mass of affected families.
The support for Erasing Dad is far greater than the people who are against the film, as censorship in Argentina is unpopular (the dictatorship of 1977-1983 banned films and books). Also, many fathers have begun to speak out about a problem that until recently was taboo: that they can´t see their children after a divorce because the courts do not enforce visitation or they have been victims of false accusations. In the family court system, accusations are not investigated as they do not go to trial, rather, the law states that an accusation by the mother must result in the father being removed from the home for 90 days, which can be renovated indefinitely.
While the movie focuses on Argentina, it demonstrates the issue is worldwide. Recently, Hollywood film star Jason Patric has raised awareness of parental alienation, educating the public and starting an NGO to help families in this situation called “Stand Up for Gus”.
Article 14 of the Constitution of Argentina states that all of the nation’s inhabitants have the right “to publish their ideas without prior restraint”. Gentile said “It’s weird for me as a filmmaker to see reviews of my movie by people who haven’t even seen it yet”. When it premiers it is sure to keep making waves in the family court system by its claim that children have the right to love both parents.
NOTE: after a lengthy appeal process, the censorship order was lifted by the court of appeals. However, another order appeared to blur the face and name of one professional who appears in the film, which we have done.
Co-Directors Ginger Gentile (from New York) and Sandra Fernández Ferreira are available for English language interviews.
English language contact: info@ErasingDad.org
Production company website: http://www.santelmoproductions.com
Other English Language Press:
Argentina Independent, September 29th 2014: http://www.argentinaindependent.com/socialissues/erasing-dad-a-review/
October 10th, 2014 Bubble Pod Cast: https://soundcloud.com/radioledonline/the-bubble-01-10-10-2014-radio-led-podcasts