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Once Upon a Time in Venezuela

Once Upon a Time in Venezuela

99' 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 in power 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



2020 CPH:DOX

2020 Hot Docs

2020 Sundance

2020 DocAviv

2021 IDFA

Free access
99' 2020 Venezuela, UK, Brasil, Austria
Anabel Rodríguez Ríos
John Márquez
Sepp R. Brudermann
Spiraleye Productions Ltd.
Online availability
Special collection - watch between Dec 20 - Jan 06