Documentary about La Manada rape case and fight against machismo on Netflix

by Lorraine Williamson
Documentary on La Manada rape case
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On March 1, the documentary No estás sola: la lucha contra La Manada premiered on Netflix. This production (You Are Not Alone, The Fight Against La Manada) is about the case of sexual violence during the 2016 Sanfermines in Pamplona by five men, who called “La Manada” (the Pack). The documentary’s directors are Almudena Carracedo and Robert Baha.

The documentary offers a new perspective on the fight against machismo in the Spanish legal system, the media and society in general. The story is built around the testimonies of victims and people close to the case, presented by the actresses Natalia de Molina and Carolina Yuste.

Story battle against La Manada told from a new perspective

Carracedo, one of the two directors, explains: “We wanted to tell the story from a perspective that was unknown until now. This was achieved through a careful focus on statements of victims and people who were very close to the events. Bahar adds that the film is based on a large amount of material. “We drew on more than 60 hours of carefully recorded interviews,” plus original footage and nearly a thousand hours of archival footage, which have been sensitively incorporated into the project.

No estás sola produced in secret

It took more than three and a half years of secret production to make the documentary. This project not only focuses on the Pamplona case, but also makes connections between two other important events: the beating in Pozoblanco by four of the same suspects and the murder of Nagore Laffage in 2008.

Mass protests

These elements come together in the social reaction that erupted in 2018, when a million women and young people took to the streets under the slogan Yo te creo (I believe you) and spread the hashtag #Cuéntalo on social networks. This marked the beginning of the Spanish #MeToo movement. The music for No estás sola: la lucha contra La Manada was composed especially for the production by Leo Heiblum and Jacobo Lieberman. This soundtrack adds to the story of the feature film, highlighting the emotions and messages that are conveyed.

The case marked a before and after in Spain

The case took place during the Sanfermines festivities – the world-famous bullfights – in Pamplona in 2016 and shocked the whole world. Five men, who called themselves “La Manada,” abused an 18-year-old girl. They filmed it with their mobile phones and then shared the videos in a WhatsApp group. Those images were used against the members of La Manda during the trial. But also, in the first instance against the victim. That would have been passive. The girl was found in a state of shock by a couple who alerted the police.

New law: Solo sí es sí

A lower court initially sentenced the men to nine years in prison for sexual abuse. And not for rape. He was sentenced to 23 years for rape. However, judges ruled that there was no violence or intimidation. The victim also allegedly did not resist. That verdict led to huge outrage and demonstrations in Spain against the sentences imposed and the acquittal for rape. The Supreme Court later convicted the perpetrators of rape. In 2019, the Spanish government came up with a proposal to tighten the laws surrounding rape and sexual assault. In this new law, sex without explicit consent is considered rape: ‘Sólo sí es sí‘. (Only yes is yes).

Also read: Dani Alves sentenced to jail for rape

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