With a travel book in her hands and a cigarette in her fingers, Carmen (Aline Küppenheim) deliberates what shade of paint she’d like for her walls. She wants it like a sunset but not too pink. Maybe a bit blue. After all, it’s not like she goes outside too often. Even her commutes, now to her Las Cruces beach house, are isolated. It’s 1976 in Chile, three years into dictator Augusto Pinochet’s rule. While paint drips onto Carmen’s heels, defectors and accused communists fall in the streets. But hey, she’s got a home to renovate. Continue Reading →
Érase una vez en Venezuela, Congo Mirador
Anabel Rodríguez Ríos's documentary about tension in the small village of Congo Mirador is both singular and specific.
(This review is part of our coverage of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.)
As the night sky shines a modicum of light over the Venezuelan village of Congo Mirador, the heat lighting begins. It’s a regular phenomenon too: a constant cycle of near darkness blinded by strobing curlicues that weave in and out of the clouds. Thus comes our first decent sight of the location. Mirador, located in the country’s northwest Zulian Region, bleeds from Colombia on its west to the Caribbean Sea on its northeast.
The community, however, stands above Lake Maracaibo, which, ranks as one of the planet's oldest lakes at anywhere from 20 to 36 million years. It’s just recently that citizens have made it work economically and environmentally, but the once-thriving locale has begun to sink. At least, not according to Mrs. Tamara, whose allegiance to the Venezuelan government precludes any real worry about the area’s wellbeing. She sports posters Hugo Chávez on her wall; she collects dolls of the former president and displays them with pride. Continue Reading →