Venezuela

Elia K. Schneider – Tamara (2016)

Teo Almanza, a successful lawyer with a wife and two kids, finally comes to terms with his visceral desire to be a woman. He is determined to follow his heart, even though this will turn his whole world upside down and put his life at risk. So his journey to gender reassignment begins… Based on the true story of Tamara Adrian, the first transgender person elected to the Venezuelan National Assembly. Read More »

Agnès Varda – L’une chante, l’autre pas aka One Sings One Doesn’t (1977)

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The intertwined lives of 2 women in 1970’s France, set against the progress of the women’s movement in which Agnes Varda was involved. Pomme and Suzanne meet when Pomme helps Suzanne obtain an abortion after a third pregnancy which she cannot afford. They lose contact but meet again ten years later. Pomme has become an unconventional singer, Suzanne a serious community worker – despite the contrast they remain friends and share in the various dramas of each others’ lives, in the process affirming their different female identities. Read More »

Mariana Rondón – Pelo Malo AKA Bad Hair (2013)



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With minor-key delicacy, Bad Hair (Pelo Malo) focuses on a nine-year-old boy exploring issues of identity and desire that he doesn’t yet understand, and the exhausted mother socially conditioned to suppress his self-discovery. Venezuelan writer-director Mariana Rondon trains an unsentimental eye on these two loving but conflicted figures, viewed in the vivid context of a hostile, overpopulated city. The result is a spare neorealist drama that holds attention and emotional involvement with its deft balance of toughness and sensitivity. Read More »

Fina Torres – Oriana (1985) DVD

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In “Oriane,” the past is like a series of boxes, all different sizes and shapes, that the filmmaker beckons us to open. And in each is a memory, a treasured object, a wound.

The movie is by Fina Torres, a Venezuelan-born filmmaker making her debut as a director, and it has the texture of a personal tale. The character whose experiences are recalled here is a Frenchwoman in her thirties named Marie (Daniela Silverio) who learns that she has inherited the remote Venezuelan family estate that belonged to her recently dead aunt Oriane. Read More »

Alfredo B. Crevenna – El poder negro (Black power) (1975)

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Rare wrestling movie, a crossover between the lucha and blaxploitation genres. The story involves black dockworker Pedro getting mixed up with a gang of arms smugglers and falsely imprisoned on a charge of murder. He is finally released and Mil Máscaras convinces him to become a luchador, wrestling under the name of “Black Power”.

This movie was made as a showcase for former Mr. Olympia Sergio Oliva (who boasted a physique El Santo and Blue Demon could only dream of) and is actually a pretty legitimate drama compared to some of the off-the-wall lucha pictures being made at that time. Still, it reeks of the 1970’s with its loud fashions, garish color schemes and campy nightclub acts. Like many wrestling films of this era it was shot outside Mexico as a cost-cutting measure, in this case Venezuela. Read More »

Margot Benacerraf – Araya (1959)

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The restoration of Margot Benacerraf’s brilliant 1959 tone poem ARAYA, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the film’s first showing at the Cannes Film Festival, will change the face of Latin American film history. Although it shared the Cannes International Critics Prize with Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima, Mon Amour, ARAYA was never picked up for widespread distribution. Rarely shown, this masterpiece was largely forgotten by the film world. Milestone’s North American theatrical premiere and worldwide release in 2009 will give audiences the chance to rediscover Benacerraf — a powerful and distinctive voice in the history of cinema. Read More »

Diego Rísquez – Orinoko, nuevo mundo (1984)

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The Orinoko: main character in the film. The first part is set during the pre-conquest and is represented as an earthly paradise. A shaman has precognitive visions: go to Columbus and the Catholic missionary in 1498. Read More »