“The Liberator” Movie and the Emerging Venezuelan Film Industry

On a dark night, a powerful man enters a guarded mansion. The man hands his sword to one aide and a piece of laundry to a maid. The man, an important military and political figure, finally gets to the room he’s looking for. A woman waits for him there. “Now I’ve got you,” the woman says. But wait. The house is suddenly under siege. The man must leap from a window to escape. He tries to take the woman with him. “They’re not here for me,” she protests. Out he goes.  A man on horseback says of the man, “He must die tonight.”                                                                                                                                                                          
This dramatic scene opens the movie, “The Liberator”, an epic Venezuelan production depicting the life of trailblazing revolutionary, Simon Bolivar. The film journeys through Bolívar’s (Édgar Ramírez) early 19th century battle against Spain for an independent, united South American nation. Successful in liberating five countries, Bolívar’s intellect and military feats covered more more territory than any other man in the same position in the Americas.

Bolívar was famously charismatic, a trait that enabled him to bring together rebels from all walks of life, including male and female and all races living in South America for the fight against Spanish rule. Ramírez succeeded in bringing Bolívar’s fire to the screen. “The Liberator” Director Alberto Alvero created a powerful film that does justice to Bolívar’s mighty legacy.

This film is impressive for its authenticity.  In two hours, “The Liberator” managed to celebrate the quintessence of one of Latin America’s best known heroes while staying faithful to the historical narrative.

Up for Best Foreign Film at the 87th Academy Awards in February, 2015, “The Liberator” represents some of the best work coming out of the blossoming Venezuelan film industry. Since 2005, the number of Venezuelan productions made each year has tripled. In addition to Alvero and Ramírez, the emerging group of Venezuelan-born writers, actors and directors to watch includes filmmakers Luis and Andrés Rodriguez, actor/filmmaker Miguel Ferrari and writer/producer Margaret Donnelly. Of interest to Bolívar enthusiasts, Donnelly will publish a much-anticipated historical novel based on Simon Bolívar’s life in early 2015 and will adapt the novel into a film soon after.

We are fortunate to have works of art like “The Liberator” and Donnelly’s upcoming releases to celebrate Bolívar’s potent legacy.  Bolívar represents the rising of the spirit of the Venezuelan people who are, to this day, fighting against tyrants and oppressors. Perhaps, in an age when so many of us in the United States and around the world find it most comfortable to be complacent, we would also do well to let  Bolívar’s revolutionary fire ignite sparks in our souls.

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