Estephan Wagner, Marianne Hougen-Moraga

Denmark, Netherlands, 2020 / 89 min / German & Spanish OV with English subt. / Documentary

The residents of a German colony in Chile use wildly different strategies to cope with 45 traumatic years of child-abuse, torture and mass graves.

At the foot of the Chilean Andes lies an idyllic German colony called Villa Baviera. However, the beauty of the place hides a grim past. In 1961, with the stated aim of helping the poor, the German preacher Paul Schäfer and his congregation moved to Chile where they established Colonia Dignidad (Colony of Dignity). The congregation soon transformed into a cult that collaborated tightly with the Pinochet regime. Systematic child abuse, medical experiments, torture chambers for political prisoners and mass graves are part of its history. Today, 120 inhabitants still live their lives in the colony whose disturbing blend of religious fanaticism and extreme conservatism still holds sway. Songs of Repression explores how the residents deal with their traumas today. Victims and perpetrators disagree on how the past shall be remembered. Some completely deny the horrors and want only to remember the bright moments, others still go through severe emotional struggles – and some are caught in between.

With unusual access to the haunted community, filmmakers Marianne Hougen-Moraga and Estephan Wagner raise the question of whether truth and reconciliation are possible in a society where personal and collective denial is part of everyday life.


Sun 07/03 13:30 Ciné Utopia DE & ES OV with FR subt. Public
Mon 08/03 10:00 Online Public
Mon 08/03 19:15 Ciné Utopia DE & ES OV with FR subt. Public
Fri 12/03 16:30 Cinémathèque DE & ES OV with EN subt. Public
  • CPH:DOX Award, CPH:DOX, 2020 (Denmark)
  • Danish Dox Award, CPH:DOX, 2020 (Denmark)
  • Cinematic Documentary Award, Cork International Film Festival, 2020 (Ireland)
  • Best Documentary, Reykjavik International Film Festival, 2020 (Iceland)
Cast & Credits
Horst Schaffrik, Jürgen Sczurgeliez, Helga Bohnau, Dora Barr, Johannes Neufeld, Acki Georg Laube, Maria Schnellenkamp
Estephan Wagner, Marianne Hougen-Moraga
Estephan Wagner, Marianne Hougen-Moraga
Paul Bijpost, Jan Schermer
Final Cut for Real
Viking Film
autlook filmsales

Marianne Hougen-Moraga is a Danish director. She graduated with a Master’s degree in film studies from Copenhagen University. She also holds a master in screen documentary from Goldsmiths College. Marianne Hougen-Moraga has directed a number of short documentaries, such as Returned (2011), which premiered at CPH:DOX, and Sea of Sorrow – Sea of Hope (2018), which was nominated for a Danish Robert Award for best short documentary. Her feature documentary debut is Songs of Repression (2020), which she has directed with Estephan Wagner.


Estephan Wagner was born in 1976 in Viña del Mar in Chile. He studied Theater at the International School of Image and Gesture of Santiago, before working as an actor, editor and director. After moving to London, he completed a Master’s in documentary filmmaking at the National Film and Television School. Estephan Wagner has been working as a documentary director for more than a decade. He directed Last Dreams (2013) that premiered at CPH:DOX. His feature documentary Les Sauteurs (2016) which he co-directed with Moritz Siebert, and Abou Bakar Sidibé, has been screened at more than 70 film festivals, including LuxFilmFest in 2017, and has won more than 15 awards, among others the Ecumenical Jury Award at the Berlinale and the Cinema Eye Spotlight award.

  • Marianne Hougen-Moraga
  • 2020 – Songs of Repression (documentary)
  • 2018 – Sea of Sorrow, Sea of Hope (documentary short)
  • 2011 – Returned (documentary short)
  • 2010 – Little Revolution (documentary short)
  • 2007 – My Mother’s Promise (documentary short)
  • Estephan Wagner
  • 2020 – Songs of Repression (documentary)
  • 2018 – Sea of Sorrow, Sea of Hope (documentary short)
  • 2016 – Les Sauteurs (documentary)
  • 2013 – Sidste Drømme (documentary)
  • 2011 – Vanishing Worlds (documentary short)
  • 2009 – The Finishing Line (documentary short)
  • 2008 – Waiting for Women (documentary short)
  • 2008 – Ease My Pain (documentary short)
  • 2007 – New Best Friend (documentary short)
  • 2002 – Brújula Nómade (documentary short)