Once Upon a Time in Venezuela

Once Upon a Time in Venezuela

98' 2020
dir.: Anabel Rodríguez Ríos

Will the authorities help save Congo Mirador - a floating village on Lake Maracaibo? Will its inhabitants keep voting for the party that stays around only through corruption and propaganda?

Congo Mirador is a floating fishing village on Lake Maracaibo. Although the views are breathtaking, life is not easy here. The lake is overgrown, the water polluted by waste from a nearby refinery. It is a microcosm for many of Venezuela's problems. A system marked by years of neglect and inefficiency is greased only by pervasive and blatant corruption. Blustering propaganda attempts to mask chronic shortages of goods. Although Hugo Chavez posters still adorn the walls, hardly anyone here believes in revolutionary ideals anymore. The village is threadbare – just like the entire country. The film's main characters are two strong women - Tamara, a local bureaucrat, and Natalie, a teacher who sides with the opposition. Although they occupy opposite sides of the barricade, each tries to fight for the future of Congo Mirador in her own way. Meanwhile, the election is approaching. Will empty phrases and promises be enough for the villagers to once again back a regime that has nothing more to offer? And will Congo Mirador survive, even to the end of the film?

Konrad Wirkowski


WATCH DOCS 2020 - winner
CPH:DOX 2020
Hot Docs 2020
Sundance 2020
DocAviv 2020
IDFA 2020

Screenings of the film as part of the WATCH DOCS travelling festival are co-financed by the European Union in the frame of the European Parliament's grant programme in the field of communication. The European Parliament was not involved in its preparation and is, in no case, responsible for or bound by the information or opinions expressed in the context of this action. In accordance with applicable law, the authors, interviewed people, publishers or programme broadcasters are solely responsible. The European Parliament can also not be held liable for direct or indirect damage that may result from the implementation of the action.

98' 2020 Wenezuela, Wielka Brytania, Brazylia, Austria
Anabel Rodríguez Ríos
John Márquez
Sepp R. Brudermann
Spiraleye Productions Ltd.
Online availability
Online (Toruń)