Once Upon a Time in Venezuela

The documentary 'Once Upon a Time in Venzuela' depicts the troubles a dying Venezuelan village endures.

Documentary maker Anabel Rodríguez Ríos tells the story of the village Congo Mirador. Seven years she visited the village. It used to be surrounded by the water of lake Maracaibo. But that's not the case anymore. The village is silting up, which is a drama for the fishermen who are dependent of the fresh water. Sedimentation brings also rats and other pests, and undermines the hygiene in the village. And the nearby oil industry kills the fish population.

The village people are unhappy, and leaving.


Beside the environmental problems, Congo Mirador has also its part of colorful village politics. The Chavistas are trying to rescue the village and win the election. Maybe they want the best for the village (and themselves...), but they use very dubious practices. Votes are being bought, promises are made but not kept, and opposition people are chased away.

Rodríguez Ríos isn't drawing a rosy picture of the heirs of the Bolivarian revolution initiated by Hugo Chavez.

The documentary is beautiful. The scenery is gorgeous. The people captivating. And the filmography is stunning. Moreover, there's a story worth watching.

I saw the documentary with De Groene Amsterdammer. It reminded me of the sinking villages in South East Asia. But in this documentary, the water disappears. The misery, though, is the same.

#venezuela #documentary