Dario Doria | Animation, Documentary

2020 | 69 minutes | Argentina

A film as necessary as it is beautiful, Vicenta explores the struggle for the right to a legal, safe, and free abortion.


A film as necessary as it is beautiful, Vicenta explores the struggle for the right to a legal, safe, and free abortion.

Through small clay figurines and live-action news clips, the documentary narrates the real human rights story of Vicenta, an illiterate working-class woman who cleans houses for a living. During a visit to the doctor, Vicenta discovered that her teenage daughter Laura, who is mentally and physically disabled, had been raped by her uncle and is now pregnant. The law is clear: Laura can have an abortion. But the system put all kinds of obstacles in her way to prevent her from exercising her right.

With few resources and alone in her fight, Vicenta attempted to navigate a political and medical system that refused to help. Desperate, she took her story to the media. As mass pro-choice and anti-abortion demonstrations ensued, three women joined in her fight and helped Laura terminate the pregnancy.

Despite the positive outcome, Vicenta took her case to international courts to prevent other people from going through what she did. In 2011, the UN Human Rights Committee ruled in her favor, condemning the Argentine State for violating the right to legal abortion.


“An incredibly expressive yet unsentimental film that vividly captures the terrible process of a woman's dehumanization.” – Devika Girish, The New York Times

"Using clay characters to tackle a powerful story of activism against the Kafkaesque bureaucracy in Argentina, director Darío Doria reveals a crucial and painful fight for a woman's right to choose. It celebrates the tireless dedication of a mother through moments of quiet perseverance...a powerful example of how documentary animation can reveal unseen worlds usually outside her scope." — Jury Statement, International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, FIPRESCI Award

"Poignant and moving, Vicenta is a must-see documentary for those seeking to understand the numerous challenges that a female caregiver of a disabled minor confronted when seeking a remedy to her daughter's sexual abuse. Doria's film shines the light on a courageous woman who, despite her lack of education, had considerable clarity about her complex situation which involved her daughter. Without histrionics, her actions bring to a fore the features of a judiciary system that even though it is tasked with upholding rights, deprives some citizens of their human dignity." — Carolina Rocha, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

"A complex and ingenious creation." — Jonathan Romney, Screen International

"Dario Doria powerfully conveys the deep emotion of the characters in this poignant story of human tragedy and political scandal." — Heather Haynes, Hot Docs

"The captivating animation is a painstakingly accurate portrayal of Vicenta's feelings as she navigates a bureaucratic maze — and emerges victorious." — Doc Aviv

"Vicenta conveys the details of this truly incredible imposition in the form of a fable in which plasticine figures seem rooted to the spot in a Kafkaesque nightmare." — Ralph Eue, Documentarian

"The resource of animation, very well handcrafted and achieved, gives an austerity and sensitivity to the narrative that reinforces the empathy that the story generates by itself." — María Fernanda Mugica, La Nación

Main credits

Doria, Darío (film director)
Doria, Darío (screenwriter)
Camardella, Luis (screenwriter)
Gattari, Florencia (screenwriter)
Raffo, Felicitas (film producer)
Livia Delgado, Pamela (film producer)
Croatto, Virginia (film producer)
Herrero, Liliana (actor)

Other credits

Cinematography, Darío Doria; editor, Darío Doria; music, Ezequiel Menalled.

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International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film - Fipresci Award
It's All True International Documentary Film Festival - Jury Special Mention
Mar del Plata International Film Festival
Hot Docs International Documentary Festival
Jeonju International Film Festival
Tempo Documentary Festival

DIRECTOR: Dario Doria


YEAR: 2020

GENRE: Animation, Documentary


COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: College, Adults



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