The story behind »Southwest of Salem« bears all the hallmarks of a thriller and, in some ways, it is. It is also a true story. Anna, Cassandra, Elizabeth and Kristie, four lesbian Latinas, were all between 19 and 20 years of age when they were persecuted for gang-raping Elizabeth’s two nieces: a crime they did not commit.

In the 80s and 90s a moral panic spread across Middle America affecting a whole society. Allegations of people abusing children physically and sexually in the context of satanic ritual became widespread and many were falsely accused. In this particular case it is clear that the four women were targeted because of their sexuality and the homophobia of the time. A number of years ago their case came to the attention of the organization The Innocence Project and they have now begun the tough struggle towards exoneration.

A mix of newsreel, old home videos and new interviews makes up this intimate and frank docu-mentary, a story, which is chillingly one of many.

Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four poster
Title
Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four
Director
Deborah Esquenazi
Country
United States
Length
91 min
Festival
2016
Section
Documentary Competition
Language
English
Premiere status
Nordic Premiere
Production year
2016

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