‘A gargantuan, memorable story, a film in the making, ready for global success’ – La Repubblica, Italy
‘A powerful and heart-breaking story about sacrifice and courage’ – Le Monde, France
Argentina,1978. President Jorge Rafael Videla’s military dictatorship reigns with an iron fist, regularly kidnapping, torturing and murdering political activists and opponents and their families at secret concentration camps. The country is locked in a spiral of fear and chaos – and are soon to host the World Cup.
As the cacophony of protest against Videla’s government rises, his regime’s drive to ‘disappear’ these troublesome elements accelerates before they can embarrass him in front of the world’s media.
This is the story of a rugby club that refused to be silenced. When one of their teammates is found dead – assassinated – the Club La Plata first XV took a minute’s silence before their next game. The minute ran to two . . . to three . . . For ten long minutes they stood in furious silence.
But when the junta learned of this protest it wasn’t long before another player disappeared. And then another. Over the course of four years, nineteen players for La Plata were murdered by the regime: gunned down, assassinated, ‘disappeared’.
This extraordinary novel is based on interviews with survivors of Argentina’s so-called ‘dirty war’ in the seventies, when tens of thousands of protesters disappeared, many never to be found again. The Silenced is a portrait of astonishing courage and defiance and an examination of the unbreakable bonds forged by a team of rugby players in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.