Over the years, the leftist government in Venezuela has expanded its censorship on national television, news outlets, and other media in an e ort to hush the political opposition. Through the opening of a state sponsored lm school, el Centro Nacional Autónomo de Cinematografía that is directed by the son of current president Nicolas Maduro, the suppression has now reached the lm industry. Due to the extreme devaluation of the bolivares fuertes, Venezuela’s coin, filmmakers must go through the state to nd funding for their projects. This has resulted in a system where the filmmakers receive the money for their productions, and in turn the government gets to set a watchful eye over the content being made. Direct antagonism of the government or political matters are strictly avoided by filmmakers in order to avoid their projects from being a listed to any political conspiracies that could be cause for arrest, but it doesn’t stop them from showcasing the truths of the insecurity due to crime. Despite the increasing government censorship, Venezuelan lmmakers reveal in their lms the high rates of violence and poverty that are plaguing Venezuela.
The Film Desde Allá is a recent example of Venezuelan lmmakers demonstrating the harsh reality of violence and poverty through their medium. This narrative lm, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2015, explores the complexities of the homosexual relationship between a middle aged professional man and an adolescent from the streets of Caracas. The paths of these very different characters cross after the older man is robbed in his home, an experience so common in the capital city it is no longer a shock to hear of it. Behind the melodrama and the character con icts, is an honest reaction of present day Caracas and all its socioeconomic juxtapositions: the barrios and the higher class households; the educated working class, and the delincuentes that are too young to be out of school. It showcases the truths that have been plaguing Venezuela for years the ones that news outlets have so shamelessly remained silent on the growing divide between social classes and the clashes of violence that have come of it. In an interview for an international publication, Director Lorenzo Vigas said, “Deseo que los espectadores salgan del cine con cosas en la cabeza y ganas de discutir. Es la pequeña contribución que puedo hacer como artista a mi país.” His main goal is to get people talking about the underlying social commentary in his narrative that which goes beyond the theme of homosexuality. In regards to a question about his lm’s political affiliations, the director answered, “I would rather remain silent on the subject. I just want to talk about the movie.” Even though there is a huge risk of government suppression, lms are a way people are encouraged to contemplate on the problems of violence that are tearing Venezuela apart.