Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

Once Upon a Time in Venezuela


Year: 2020
Run Time: 99 minutes

Once Upon a Time in Venezuela
Once Upon a Time in Venezuela
Once Upon a Time in Venezuela
Once Upon a Time in Venezuela

ONCE UPON A TIME IN VENEZUELA—not too long ago, actually—there was a small village named Congo Mirador floating atop the waters of Lake Maracaibo, Latin America’s largest oil field. In its homes perched on stilts lived fishermen, musicians, and families. Due to pollution, corruption, and neglect, the once vibrant and prosperous community has since deteriorated. Its residents fight to hold onto their way of life as sedimentation causes the village to sink and the developing swamplands bring disease. Knowing their future is at stake, two leaders arise as Congo prepares for parliamentary elections. On one end is Mrs. Tamara, Chavist party representative and local businesswoman known for getting votes by any means necessary. On the other is Natalie, a teacher who refuses to be ousted from her position despite vocally opposing the government. As political tension rises, Congo grows less inhabitable by the day, displacing an increasing number of families. Venezuelan director Anabel Rodríguez Ríos’ beautiful, yet haunting, observational documentary serves not only as a microcosm for her country’s present crises, but also as an empathetic portrait of a community on the verge of extinction. (In Spanish with subtitles) — D.O.

CIFF44 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 5:35 PM ET

Monday, March 30, 2020 at 1:40 PM ET

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 11:40 AM ET

Accessibility (?): No closed captions, audio description, English subtitles

Checks and Balances
Cinema en Español
Women of the World

Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition
ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman

Anabel Rodríguez Ríos

Sepp Brudermann

Anabel Rodríguez Ríos

John Marquez

Sepp Brudermann

Print Source

Community Partner

InterReligious Task Force on Central America & Colombia

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