Southwest of Salem

Director: Deborah S Esquenazi

Country: USA

Runtime: 91 min

Rating: PG

Festival year: 2016

Southwest of Salem

San Antonio Texas, 1994. Four Latina lesbians live through a modern-day witch hunt and the “last gasp of satanic ritual abuse panic” as they are accused—and unjustly convicted—of the sexual assault of two young girls. Director Deborah S Esquenazi takes us through an in-depth cultural study of the intersections of myth and justice in the criminal justice system, revealing how persistent homophobic and sexist biases (and an implied association with cults and covens) may have condemned the “San Antonio Four”. News clips, interviews, legal case writings, and family videos paint a disturbing but always compelling portrait of the women’s outrageous journey, which has not yet ended. From Tribeca to Hot Docs, Southwest of Salem has been heralded as an instant classic of queer cinema.

Screening Sponsors: Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, McCarthy Tétrault