SFDocFest: I AM THE PEOPLE: VENEZUELA UNDER POPULISM
First show: May 31
Venezuela once had the highest economic growth in the world, but now is a benchmark of collapse and misery. Directed by Venezuelan filmmaker Carlos Oteyza and produced by Mexican historian Enrique Krauze, I Am the People: Venezuela Under Populism sets out to expose the skillful mechanisms of authoritarian power in the government initiated by Hugo Chávez and continued by Nicolás Maduro. The film uncovers the emergence of the charismatic leader at a time of crisis, and how — supported by soaring oil prices — he paves the way to seize institutions, polarize society, silence the media, and dismantle the production apparatus. All this, of course, on behalf of the people. In a world increasingly less transparent, where the shortcut of populism lurks to endanger democracies, I Am the People compels us to ask ourselves if any society, however stable, can be considered invulnerable to a populist irruption and its consequences.
Directed by Carlos Oteyza. Mexico. 87 mins. 2019.