Oscar-nominated Mexican thesp Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma”) and Chile’s Daniela Vega, who starred in the Academy Award-winning 2017 drama “A Fantastic Woman,” have signed on to host a four-part documentary series about Latin American women who have survived state and gender violence, “Peace Peace Now Now,” which Vega has spearheaded and executive produces.
Aparicio, as the first indigenous Latina to be nominated for an acting performance and Vega, for her show-stopping role in the Oscar-winning drama “A Fantastic Woman,” have both been fierce advocates for the rights of the marginalized, the invisible.
Said Vega: “I’m thrilled to see how this project has evolved after two years in development. The characteristics and humanity of each host has enriched the stories of great women who defied wars and violence for years.” “It was an honor to meet them and bring their stories to the world,” she added.
Vega hosted the first episode where she visited the City of Women in Colombia, a town made up exclusively of women who survived the displacement by military forces in Colombia.
“I am excited to know that these stories will be told from the perspectives of four women for whom each of us have fought in our field in some way and have sought to bring vital attention to their cases,” said Aparicio.
Shirley Manson, lead vocalist of alternative rock band Garbage, went to Chile in episode two to visit with women from Cueca Sola, who after the disappearance of their husbands during the Pinochet dictatorship, led the protest dances of La Cueca, a national dance which had become a symbol of the regime.
By dancing without their partners in what resembles a mating ritual, they brought worldwide attention to the injustices of Pinochet’s oppressive rule, inspiring even Sting to write a song about their plight.
In episode three, Aparicio visits the grandmothers of Sepur Zarco in Guatemala, survivors of the rape and pillage of their town during the country’s decades-long civil war, instigated by high-ranking military officials. Through their tireless efforts and after numerous court hearings, they succeeded in securing life imprisonment sentences for former military officers on charges of rape, murder and slavery.
Ester Exposito, star of Netflix Spanish hit “Elite,” has boarded to host the fourth episode, which producer Sergio Karmy of Alto Andes Films, estimates will be shot in Madrid around December. With more than 25 million Instagram followers, Exposito will use her perspective as an influencer to shed light on Lydia Cacho, a Mexican now exiled in Spain, who uncovered a network of pedophiles run by Mexican drug lords.
Ignacia Matus, Javiera Garcia Huidobro, Pepa San Martin and Isabel Coixet are directing an episode each. Jaime Villarreal serves as showrunner of the four 50-minute episodes.
“Season one focuses on Latin American women while the next season will fan out to other countries in the world,” said Karmy, who first collaborated with Vega on her social justice campaigns. He first got the idea for the doc series after making “The Journey of the Others,” executive produced by Roger Waters, about the Palestinian theatre company that managed to stage a performance in New York despite myriad obstacles along the way.
“Peace Peace Now Now” will be in post by January and is seeking distribution.