Anabel Rodríguez Ríos views the socioeconomic and political crisis of Venezuela through the microcosm of a dying village.
World Cinema Documentary Competition
Sundance Program Description:
Once upon a time, the Venezuelan village of Congo Mirador, floating on stilts just inches above the deep Lake Maracaibo, was prosperous, alive with fishermen and poets. In recent years, it has decayed and disintegrated, rotting beneath pollution and neglect – a small but prophetic reflection of Venezuela itself.
At the center of the village’s existential fight for survival stand two female leaders – Mrs Tamara, the Chavista government coordinator of the village, and Natalie, a vocal teacher and opponent of Mrs Tamara and her state-approved practices of bribery and intimidation. As the contentious national elections approach, fear within the community extends beyond the partisan divide of Venezuelan politics; the villagers’ homes are quite literally vanishing into the sedimented water, displacing families with no means of surviving elsewhere.
Director Anabel Rodríguez Ríos’s striking and mournful ode to her country bears firsthand witness to the irreversible consequences of government corruption, while simultaneously capturing the resilient spirit of those most directly affected by Venezuela’s profound economic and political crises.
Spiraleye Productions’ Rodríguez Ríos is a Vienna-based Venezuelan filmmaker. Her previous work has included documentary and crossmedia shorts and series, often focusing on human rights and refugee topics. This is Rodríguez Ríos first full-length documentary feature.
London-based Brudermann is an Austrian producer/director who has worked with Rodríguez Ríos on many of her previous projects through Spiraleye Productions.
Riahi produces through his Vienna-based Golden Girls Filmproduktion company. He previously participated in the 2003 Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab, but this marks his first project to screen at Sundance.
This is also the first Sundance project for Spiraleye’s Harrison.
TRES Cinematografia’s Torres also makes his Sundance debut with this project.
Carneiro Campos is CEO of production company Pacto Audiovisual and a founder of Televisión America Latina. This is also her first Sundance credit.
This is also the first Sundance project for TRES Cinematografia’s Lepage.
Maldonado was a collaborating writer on Sundance alumni fiction feature UNMADE BEDS and co-writer of the Oscar-winning animated short PETER & THE WOLF.
Krag previously cut Sundance alumni fiction feature OPEN HEARTS.
Why You Should Watch:
Focusing her film on the marginalized, forgotten, but still resilient people of Congo Mirador, Rodríguez Ríos reveals the human impact of Venezuela’s destabilization. The result is a well crafted, thoughtful elegy to her homeland.
For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.