In 1984, John Ewing Dreyfous departed on a soulful quest by bicycle across southern Europe eastwards, into India. He was 24. Since he vanished into the rugged foothills of the Himalayas, his mother has kept a patient vigil that over more than two-decades has become a spiritual journey of her own. Kauffman was co-director of the 2005 Academy Award-winner for Best Documentary Feature, Born into Brothels (2005 AIFF).
Growing up in Chile, Claudio is full of music and dreams, relishing artistic freedom and an optimistic social climate created by the election of Salvador Allende. Everything seems possible. But after the CIA-backed coup in 1973, the dreams become nightmares. Under General Augusto Pinochet, Claudio is "disappeared." After his time at the infamously brutal detention centre Villa Grimaldi, he is forced into exile to the United States.
Under his new identity Quique Cruz, the film's protagonist gathers together six artists - poets, painters, writers, and musician - all fellow survivors of incarceration under the regime. They have created a narrative from the contradictions of terror and aesthetics, pain and beauty and so bring darkness into light. Testimony to the power of art to transform even the deepest pain, Archeology Of Memory: Villa Grimaldi incorporates their art, intimate accounts, and an extraordinary musical score to illuminate a journey back into the dark days of Pinochet's state-sponsored terror. [subtitles, graphic description