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Arts & Culture

Miami Film Festival Documentary Takes Viewers 'To The Street' Of Venezuela's Tragedy

An image of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez being arrested from the documentary 'A La Calle'
A La Calle
Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez being arrested during an anti-regime protest in the documentary 'A La Calle' (To The Street).

The makers of "A La Calle," debuting in Miami this week, hope the film inspires Venezuelans and the diaspora to keep their struggling pro-democracy movement alive.

One of the timeliest movies at this week’s Miami Film Festival – "A La Calle," or To The Street – is a documentary about Venezuela’s pro-democracy movement and its crushing humanitarian crisis. The film may be not only topical but a tonic of sorts since it arrives in South Florida at a moment when Venezuelan exile morale is at a low ebb.

“A La Calle” examines in compelling detail Venezuelans’ struggle against their dictatorial socialist regime and brutal economic collapse. It opens with a harrowing scene of Venezuelan security forces firing on unarmed protesters in Caracas – but it closes with more optimistic images of opposition leader Juan Guaidó confronting the regime.

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Since then, authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro's government has gained the oppressive upper hand again. But Nelson Navarrete, who co-directed the film with Maxx Caicedo, says he hopes it moves Venezuelans and expats to keep their pro-democracy cause alive.

“If we could spark some kind of hope in the community, in any Venezuelan anywhere, y’know, it could allow us to have maybe a different perspective on how things are going,” Navarette said.


Navarette, a Venezuelan-American, also wants the scenes of regime repression (some of the documentary's crew members were arrested during filming and later released) and Venezuelans reduced to rooting through garbage for food to send a strong message to non-Venezuelans.

“To a certain extent this is a film for the international community," Navarrete said, "to create awareness that we can’t take democracy for granted when we have a state of the world right now in somewhat of an [anti-democratic] emergency.”

The Miami Film Festival will host a virtual screening of “A La Calle” at noon on Tuesday, followed by a panel discussion about the Venezuelan crisis. Tickets can be purchased at this festival event link.

Tim Padgett is the Americas Editor for WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida. Contact Tim at tpadgett@wlrnnews.org
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