Eternal Chains – TV miniseries
A drama about a brilliant American geneticist and her struggle in Argentina, as she pits her courage and genetic techniques against brutal tyrants and kidnappers, to reunite the “Grandmothers of the Disappeared” with their stolen grandchildren. It’s loosely based on actual events.
Eternal Chains script
About the Grandmothers Of The Disappeared
When Argentina’s military overthrew Peron’s government, they abducted any suspected opponents, and hundreds of children were either kidnapped along with their parents or born in captivity. Early in the reign of terror, a human rights organization called the “Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo” was founded.
These grandmothers kept a vigil in the plaza across from the military offices, picketing for the return of their children and grandchildren. Their natural dignity made them a powerful symbol of resistance. But they were more than that–they were a fully operational intelligence organization, gathering an enormous amount of evidence about the fate of the disappeared.
The geneticist is Nancy, about 35, attractive, affable and idealistic. And when she sets her sights on a worthy goal, she puts her very heart and soul and endless supply of vitality into achieving it. She’s a well respected researcher and professor at UC Berkeley.
In 1976 Nancy and her husband, who’s an ecologist, leave to teach science at a college in Argentina. It’s part of a prestigious exchange program. Nancy thoroughly enjoys the experience, finds the eagerness of the Argentine students very rewarding, is enthralled with the culture and its earthy people and makes many friends.
Then in the spring of 1977, the serenity of the campus is suddenly shattered. We see images of violence and mayhem, as the military attacks the college and the city. They overthrow Peron’s government and go on a rampage of kidnapping, torture and murder that eventually leaves 12,000 people dead.
Nancy goes to her closest friend, Elsa, an elderly woman who owns a bakery, and sees soldiers abducting Elsa’s pregnant daughter and son-in-law. Nancy tries to stop them, but she’s knocked down, a gun is put to her head, she’s about to be shot. But suddenly, General Britos, the top military officer, drives by and recognizes her. She was his nephew’s favorite teacher and he saw her give a lecture once. He spares her life, but forces her to leave the country immediately.
Soon after Nancy returns to California, she gives birth to a daughter, Emily. And in the next few years Nancy goes on to become an accomplished geneticist and makes ground breaking discoveries about breast cancer. But she and her husband drift apart, and in early ’81 they are divorced. And that summer the Argentine military relinquishes power and a civilian government is installed.
Nancy and Emily return to Buenos Aires to help Elsa and the rest of their friends who are now part of the “Grandmothers of the Disappeared”. Although it turns out that most of the Grandmothers’ children were killed after the military seized them, hundreds of missing grandchildren were kept by the military or sold on Argentina’s active black market in babies.
So Nancy struggles to develop genetic tests to prove scientifically, that suspected kidnapped children really belong to the Grandmothers. Meanwhile in the courts, the military’s powerful attorneys are succeeding in stalling and generally outmatching the Grandmothers.
But Nancy is able to entice the city’s finest attorney, Carlos, to take on their fight for free. As Carlos makes progress in the courtroom battles, he and Nancy also fall in love. And when the passion of these two strong willed individuals are combined, it results in a very sensual romance that later leads to marriage.
Nancy’s early genetic tests and Carlos’ brilliant legal maneuverings succeed in uniting many of the grandmothers with the children. But as progress is made, they must grapple with increasing covert violence directed at them by the ruthless military.
And when it’s suspected that General Britos’ daughter is really Elsa’s abducted grandchild, Nancy must quickly invent a new genetic technique and summon up all her courage to face Britos down as he tries to assassinate her.
This film takes the classic theme of truth against tyranny and combines it with a modern David vs. Goliath conflict that generates a very moving story. Although the tale has a fair share of dreadful menace, it’s essentially heart warming, and its conclusion is uplifting to the human spirit. And there’s nothing more compelling than kidnapped children being reunited with their true families.