Writer/Producer: Ashley Tabatabai | Director(s): Stefan Fairlamb, Ashley Tabatabai |Cinematographer: by Adam Lyons | Cast: Ashley Tabatabai, Mitchell Mullen, Julia Leyland, Mike Archer
A man whose son was stolen at birth is convinced that he has found his long lost child. Inspired by Spain’s stolen babies scandal, Los Niños Robados.
An abhorable and largely unmentioned stain in Spanish and European history, the effects of ‘Los Niños Robados’ also known as ‘The Lost Children of Francoism’ – during which an estimated 300,000 children were reported stolen from their parents between the 1930s and 1980’s – are still being uncovered today.
In Ashley Tabatabai’s (a triple threat here as writer, producer and star) grave and pensive short film Falsified, we meet Henry, 30 years into his search for the child he lost during the regime. More tragically Henry’s wife, Maria, has since passed away – spurring his determination to to deliver on the promise he made to her before she died – to find their stolen son.
When we meet Henry, ruminating in an empty church – he talks of a life filled with longing, doubt and resentment. However it’s his willfulness, that can only be prescribed to a parent desperate to find a lost child, that culminates in the bittersweet meeting he has the young man he believes to be his son.
Henry’s own mortality, glaringly on the decline, makes things look doubtful until he sets his eyes on Javier. Not only is Javier an eerie likeness of his beloved Maria, he is also, as a man and as a son, symbolic and physical embodiment of Henry’s immortality.