Directed by Mercedes Moncada Rodríguez (Mexico/Guatemala/Nicaragua, 2012, 82 min)
Lake Managua holds tremendous significance for Nicaraguans. It is where the ashes of revolutionary Augusto Sandino were thrown after his assassination and also where Managua’s sewage drains. It is polluted and stagnant. Narrated in the first person, Magic Words to Break a Spell blends archival footage with dazzling imagery of the landscape to delve into filmmaker Mercedes Moncada’s take on the history of Nicaragua: the brutality of the Somoza dictatorship, the 1979 Sandinista Revolution, and the corruption and demagoguery of those that betrayed the revolution. Lake Managua remains stuck in a state of unresolved suspension, a metaphor for the rotten legacy of corrupt regimes that have marked the modern history of Nicaragua and which have left the public without explanation or closure since the war’s end.
Screening at Row House Cinema.