Keswick Film Club - Song Without a Name

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Song Without a Name (Canción sin nombre)

Director: Melina León Country: Peru
Cert: TBC Year: 2019 Length: 97 mins Language: Quechua and Spanish
Song Without a Name

Programme Notes

Cinema Handout (PDF 109KB)


  • More details on this film at the Internet Movie Database


Most seasons we have a film which comes over as poetry in motion, which would be beautiful to look at even if there were no story; 'Song without a Name' is this season's poem.

Based on real events in the 1980s in Peru, Georgina - an indigenous Quechuan living near Lima – scrapes a living selling potatoes. When her baby is due, she hears an advert for a free clinic where she goes to give birth, but the baby disappears and she is left fruitlessly begging the police to help before turning to the media. Although the film makes it clear that it is the norm for the poor people of this area to get no support, "just when you think that León is going to steer the film into the terrain of a conventional investigative thriller, she remains fixated on exploring loss and pain on an intimate and personal scale" – Steven Scaife, Slant Magazine.

Filmed in glorious monochrome "the film remains grandly composed, with spectacular tableaus that make the Peruvian hillsides look like scenes from a John Ford western. Georgina becomes a silhouette slipping down barren mountains; when she enters the newspaper offices, the walls appear to entrap her" – Teo Bugbee, New York Times.

Melina León is a Peruvian director, based in Lima and New York. This is her first feature film: originally shown at Cannes, the film has gone on to be a big hit at 90 film festivals around the world, winning 32 awards along the way.



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