Yeses is a documentary about the world’s first project of a theater company entirely made up of inmates.
The documentary, directed by Miguel Forneiro, was recently released at Beloit Film Festival and it is expected to be screened shortly at Gran Via and broadcasted by Spanish TVE channel La 2.
A wall with a wire fence and a pigeon flying over it. A woman is driving one more day to her work. Prison bars are opened to let her in.
The woman is Elena Cánovas, Yeses documentary narrator and leading role. Yeses is also the name of a unique theater company breaking ground with an innovative cast and crew entirely made up of women inmates. These women are all carrying out a sentence inside the penitentiary building Madrid 1, Alcalá de Henares. Canovas, company’s founder, rebuilds in this documentary the story that started more than 30 years ago in Yeserías, a former women prison.
Their first theater play took place on 1985. Since then until 2017 when they won the Max Price of Amateur Theater, more than 800 women have become part of the company as a path towards their reintegration process.
The 70 minutes documentary is Miguel Forneiro’s first film of this genre. After spending an afternoon with Canovas listening to her stories, Forneiro found that her experiences worth to be shared with the world. Jesús Morenos, general director of Penitentiary Institutions, supported the project.
Yeses is a documentary about passion for theater, and Canovas is so passionate about her job. “Yeses is unthinkable without Elena ”, “I don’t understand why she never gave up” according to some interviewees. But Yeses is also a useful reflection on the therapeutic, educational and liberating power of theater. Teatro Yeses is a tool that have empowered hundreds of women so far, helping them to get to know themselves, translating unknown feelings into words and encouraging them to to be self-sufficient.
Yeses have been party financed by Woman General Management of Community of Madrid, a public institution that have supported the company from its beginning in cooperation with Reale Foundation.