2009 | 54mins | Colour
By Mieke Bal & Andrea Seligmann Silva

Genre: Documentary
Portuguese, English and Dutch with English subtitles

When migration runs in the family, a traumatic history looms

In this autobiographical film, a diasporic Brazilian family is reunited in São Paulo.

All five siblings, at one time or another, have established themselves abroad. While exploring the reasons behind this connection to the foreign in her family, Andréa, a filmmaker living in Amsterdam, interviews the members of her family. They all evoke a psychotic crisis their mother had five years ago. So Andréa begins to focus her inquiry on what took place then, as well as on that crisis’ connection to the traumatic events of a generation ago.

Edith, Andréa’s Jewish mother, was three years old when her parents escaped from Nazi Germany in 1939. The question of the migratory now turns both backwards and forwards, and danger becomes as potent a motive as the attraction to foreign places.

Separations has been selected for several international film festivals, including:

• the Bright Future program of the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2010.
• Belo Horizonte International Film Festival, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, October 24, 2010
• Outubro Indepente Festival, São Paulo, Brazil, October 12, 2010
• Warsaw Film Festival, Warsaw, Poland, 8 – 11 October, 2010
• International Women’s Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 9 – 10 June 2010
• “It’s All True”: International Documentary Film Festival, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 9 – 18 April, 2010

15 euro for the DVD and please add 8 euro for shipping

To acquire a DVD, you can make a donation to my current film project. You then send an e-mail to with the address where you wish the DVD to be sent. Please also include the details of your transfer (bank account no., name and date of transfer).

M.G. Bal
IBAN: NL85ABNA0949591297

Gustav Mahlerlaan 10
1082 PP Amsterdam
The Netherlands

In addition to the festivals mentioned, Separations has appeared at the following events:
Cine Tonalá, Retrospectiva Fílmica Mieke Bal, 20 January 2015
- Cinema Logomo, Turku (Finland), 1 September 2013
- Exhibition “Towards the Other,” curated by Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits. Saint Petersburg, Russia, Museum of the History of Saint Petersburg, Peter and Paul Fortress. October 10-29, 2011 (with catalogue)
Universität Graz, Graz, Austria, January 12, 201
- “The Last Frontier / La última frontera: Video works by Mieke Bal, in collaboration with Michelle Williams Gamaker and Others,” Curated by Miguel Ángel Hernández Navarro, February 3 - March 29, 2011 (with catalogue)
- “Whose Global Humanities.” 2010 annual CHCI meeting, the Cogut Center for the Humanities, Brown University, Providence, RI, US, 15 June, 2010

- “Articulation(s).” ASCA International Workshop 2010, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, March 22, 2010
- “Nieuwe rollen, oude patronen? generaties, migratie, traditie en verandering / Nuevos roles, patrones antiguos? generaciones, migracion, tradicion y cambio.” Stichting Centro Cultural de Hispanohablantes, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, March 6, 2010
- Docs for Sale, IDFA (International Documentary Festival Amsterdam), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 18 – 28 November 2009
- Kriterion (Cinema Discutabel Programme), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, November 15, 2009 (Première)