Araya [DVD] [1958]

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Special Features

  • Reveron, a 1953 film by Margot Benacerraf
  • Two audio commentaries: interviews with Margot Benacerraf on Araya and Reveron
  • The Film of Her Life: Araya documentary by Antoine Mora 2007
  • Two tv interviews with Margot Benacerraf
  • Araya American trailer


Shown at Cannes in 1959, the year after Venezuela's last dictator Marcos Perez-Jimenez was overthrown, the documentary inadvertently highlights the kind of exploitation of the poor that can lead to rebellion. While the dictator escaped to Miami with $13 million, salt workers were piling up mounds of salt on the flat sands, making barely enough money to keep them in arepas and black beans. Between the hot, tropical climate and the sores on their feet, the job these workers do every day is excruciating. Yet the lives of the fishermen and salt workers in this documentary are shown in the context of planned, upscale development, something of a disservice to the larger picture. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

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