Private Project

A light in the dark: abortion in the Dominican Republic

For the first time, a documentary gives a general and objective view of the abortion in the Dominican Republic, one of the few countries in the world where the practice is completely illegal.
Doctors, lawyers, women’s organizations as well as representatives of the Catholic and Evangelical Church speak openly about the social situation and Dominican politics.
With a close and direct pitch, highlighting the contrast between the beauty of the country and the rawness of the subject, the documentary focuses on several personal stories: a teenager that used abortion pills, a herbs seller that explains how to make a traditional abortifacient tea and a mother who tells how her daughter, underage and pregnant, died in a hospital after the doctors refused to treat her leukaemia.

  • Helena Martínez de Aspe
    Western Sahara: last colony in Africa
  • Helena Martínez de Aspe
    La Gran Historia
  • Helena Martínez de Aspe
    A place in the Sun
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    En la sombra: aborto en la República Dominicana
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Television
  • Genres:
    Gender, Sexuality, Women
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 10, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Dominican Republic
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    HD (25fps)
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Helena Martínez de Aspe

Helena was worn in A Coruña, a city in Galicia, a region in the North West of Spain. She studied Audiovisual Communication at the Pontifical University of Salamanca and a Master Degree in Editing Journalism in her home town.
After 3 years working with Galician TV channels she moved to London, where she directed and produced several documentaries and current affairs series focussing on Latin America social topics.
She has experience filming in different countries, she speaks Galician, Spanish, English and Portuguese and has always been interested in Human Rights, women’s rights, environment and History.

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Director Statement

The Dominican Republic is a country of contrasts. That was the premise of the documentary: breaking barriers, reaching depths of a society that exports tourism and sexuality while, behind closed doors, is one of the most religious countries in Latin America, with a huge rate of hyper-sexualization of young children and with one of the strictest antiabortion laws in the world.