Venezuela may not pump out as many movies as other Latin American countries but the film industry is burgeoning and national productions are up over last year. Organizers of the very first Nuevo Cine Venezolano festival in New York City are showcasing the best of the best. Running October 26 through the 31st eight new Venezuelan movies will screen in NYC… wait for it… for free!
Most of the screenings are at the Tribeca Cinemas in downtown Manhattan and include Q&As with directors. Plus, opening and closing parties feature delicious Venezuelan apps and drinks. Seriously, what more could you ask for? Here’s our top picks from the Festival del Nuevo Cine Venezolano en Nueva York.
In Nikkei, director Kaori Flores Yonekura tells the story of her grandparents’ intrepid journey from Japan to Peru to Venezuela. Along the way, their personal search for a new home is set against the larger backdrop of the history of Japanese immigration to Latin America: from servitude in Peru, to the anti-Japanese media campaigns in World War II, to propaganda and promises of a better life in Venezuela. Nikkei is a fascinating and artfully constructed documentary that uses photographs, animation and personal testimony to reconstruct a subject of Latin American history that is rarely presented in cinema.
BRECHA EN EL SILENCIO
Adolescent and from a modest neighborhood, Ana has spent years in front of a sewing machine working to support her two younger brothers and silently enduring the abuse of a pervert stepfather and an indifferent mother. Her hearing impairment has marginalized her in a world that refuses to listen. Brecha en el silencio is Venezuela’s official submission to the Oscars for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film.
PIEDRA, PAPEL O TIJERA
Hector, a well-to-do commercial pilot, discovers that his wife has been unfaithful during his long absences. Christian, who lives with his girlfriend Valentina in a working class neighborhood, promises a local criminal to safeguard a package. Desperate to pay off some outstanding debts Christian kidnaps Hector’s son, unleashing a chain of events that will prove tragic for all parties involved. Piedra, papel o tijera, a powerfully intense urban drama was last year’s submission to the Oscars.