1. See Sueiro Villanueva, Yolanda. Inicios de la exhibición cinematográfica en Caracas (1896-1905), p. 66. [return to page 1 of essay]
2. IMDB database.
3. Forero, Juan: “Venezuelan Filmmaker Finds His Kidnapping Tale Resonates With the Masses”, October 6, 2005; accessed April 5, 2010.
3b. In an entry published in his blog on February 21, 2010, the Minister Farruco Sesto sustains that “posing a dichotomy between politics and culture may represent an act of intellectual dishonesty. There is no such dichotomy. There is no such contradiction. We have the responsibility to do politics and contribute to raising awareness and developing the power of the people to create, precisely from the cultural front.”
Original text: “puede representar un acto de deshonestidad intelectual plantear la dicotomía entre política y cultura. No hay tal dicotomía. No hay contradicción. Nos toca hacer política y contribuir a desarrollar la conciencia y los poderes creadores del pueblo, justamente desde el trabajo cultural.”
Available at http://confarruco.blogspot.com/2010/
4b. Despite these observations on the role of the lead characters in these two films, I don’t underestimate the potential of romantic relationships to attract audience attention and promote emotional involvement.
5. The remarkable development of this net of orchestras throughout Venezuela is well documented in the film Tocar y Luchar (To Play and to Fight), dir. Luis Alberto Arvelo Mendoza, Venezuela, 2006.
6. This scene poses some problems. Why would the policemen inform Tita so politely of Edwin’s death? She is not a close relative of the deceased, and it is suggested that they killed Edwin on purpose.
7. Sujatha Fernandes refers to the remarkable work of some worker priests in Venezuela such as Francisco Wuytack and José Antonio Angós. Another prominent examples of this figure is the President of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, elected in 2008 after six decades of one-party rule and an ex-bishop “of the poor.” In film, the diverse types of priests found in Latin America are portrayed in the 2002 Mexican feature The Crime of Father Amaro.
8. Many political analysts and scholars including Steve Ellner, Arturo Escobar, Margarita López Maya, Luis Lánder, Antonio González and Miguel Tinker Salas among others have noted the significance of these riots and the ensuing repression in the formation of the political awareness of Venezuelans.
9. Spivak’s voice in the often quoted essay “Can the Subaltern Speak?”
10. The chapter “La película y la realidad” of the DVD extras.
11. Wilson, Jason. "Writing for the Future: Echeverría’s “El Matadero” and Its Secret Rewriting by Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares as “La Fiesta del Monstruo." Forum for Modern Language Studies, January 23, 2007, p. 5.
12. Ibid. p. 1.
13. Ibid. p. 1.
14. Quoted in Diana Robin and Ira Jaffe’s Redirecting the Gaze. Gender, Theory, and Cinema in the Third World, p. 2.
14b. Heterotopias and the Experience of Porous Urban Space, Stavros Stavrides, p. 174.
14c. Fernandes, Sujatha. Who Can Stop the Drums? Urban Social Movements in Chávez’s Venezuela. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010).
15. For further discussion, see Barthes, Roland. Writing Degree Zero. USA: Hill and Wang, 1977  and Yau, Esther C. M. “Compromised Liberation: The Politics of Class in Chinese Cinema of the Early 1950s”, in James, David E. and Rick Berg (Eds.). The Hidden Foundation : Cinema and the Question of Class. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996, pp. 139-171.
16. As Lorena Almarza, one of the Presidents of Villa del Cine, points out, 80% of La Clase was shot in the barrio of Zumba de Guarenas and some extras and assistant producers are from this slum; (accessed on 19 November 2007:
17. I would like to highlight the obvious interest of the Bolivarian Government in reassessing historical events and figures in order to better understand and modify the present. Films like Bolívar eterno and Zamora are also proof of this aim.
18. See, Ellner, Steve, Rethinking Venezuelan Politics, pp. 89-99.
19. At one point in La clase the poor boyfriend and his friends are intimidated by the police for writing a graffiti about IMF (FMI in Spanish).
20. It was known as “el paquete.” There are scenes in La clase where we can see a graffiti reading “Abajo el paquete,” down with the reform package.
21. Referring to the Venezuelan economic expansion that “began when the government got control over the national oil company in the first quarter of 2003.” (Mark Weisbrot, Rebecca Ray and Luis Sandoval, The Chávez Administration at 10 Years: The Economy and Social Indicators (CEPR Centre for Economic and Policy Research 2009).
22. Chávez & Harnecker, 9.
23. Chapter “La película y la realidad”.
24. Note that guerrillas in Latin America are often illegal and irregular, therefore this term may carry a negative connotation.
25. Emphasis mine.
26. For more information, see Gott, Richard. "Chávez's Perfect Gift to Obama." April 20, 2009
27. Original text: “El mundo se divide sobre todo entre los indignos y los indignados. Y ya sabrá cada quién de qué lado quiere o puede estar.” My translation is based on the following definition of the key terms:
María Moliner, "Diccionario De Uso Del Español," (Madrid: Gredos, 1992), vol. 1 & 2.
28. English title: The Zone.
29. English title: Once Upon a Time in Rio.
30. Rey, Germán: “Evocar la vida. Contextos y variaciones en el cine latinoamericano reciente". Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, September 2003; accessed April 5, 2010.
31. My translation. Original text: (“los delirios políticos con las circunstancias íntimas, las opciones más individuales con la revelación de un paisaje que es natural y social”).
32. On June 30, 2010, Villa del Cine celebrated its fourth birthday. It has released 26 films and supported many other projects, including the co-production of films and the organization of activities for community development.
33. I am referring here to Zuzana Pick’s The New Latin American Cinema. A Continental Project.
Barthes, Roland. Writing Degree Zero. USA: Hill and Wang, 1977 .
Chávez Frías, Hugo & Marta Harnecker. Understanding the Venezuelan Revolution : Hugo Chávez Talks to Marta Harnecker. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2005.
Clarck, Andrew. "Chávez Creates Overnight Bestseller with Book Gift to Obama." Guardian, April 19, 2009.
Echeverría, Esteban. Obras Completas de Esteban Echeverría. Buenos Aries: A. Zamora, 1951.
Ellner, Steve. Rethinking Venezuelan Politics: Class, Conflict, and the Chávez Phenomenon. Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2008.
Fernandes, Sujatha. Who Can Stop the Drums? Urban Social Movements in Chávez’s Venezuela. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010.
Gott, Richard. "Chávez’s Perfect Gift to Obama." Guardian, April 20, 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk
James, David E. and Rick Berg (Eds.). The Hidden Foundation : Cinema and the Question of Class. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.
Moliner, María. Diccionario de uso del español. Madrid: Gredos, 1992. Vol. 1 & 2.
Pick, Zuzana M. The New Latin American Cinema. A Continental Project. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1993
Rey, Germán: “Evocar la vida. Contextos y variaciones en el cine latinoamericano reciente." Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, September 2003.
Robin, Diana and Ira Jaffe. Redirecting the Gaze. Gender, Theory, and Cinema in the Third World. New York: State University of New York Press, 1999.
Stavrides, Stavros. “Heterotopias and the Experience of Porous Urban Space.” Franck, Karen A. and Quentin Stevens: Loose Space. Possibility and Diversity in Urban Life. London And New York, Routledge, 2007, pp. 174-192.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorti. “Can the Subaltern Speak?” Nelson, Cary & Lawrence Grossberg. Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press, pp. 271-316.
Suárez Faillace, Belkis. “La ciudad de Caracas amor a muerte y Secuestro Express”. Paper presented at LASA Conference, Caracas, May 26-27, 2008.
Sueiro Villanueva, Yolanda. Inicios de la exhibición cinematográfica en Caracas (1896-1905). Caracas: Universidad Central de Venezuela. Fondo Editorial Humanidades y Educación, 2007.
Villa del Cine, Gobierno Bolivariano de Venezuela. Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Cultura, accessed 30/06/2008.
Weisbrot, Mark, Rebecca Ray and Luis Sandoval The Chávez Administration at 10 Years: The Economy and Social Indicators. CEPR, Centre for Economic and Policy Research, 2009.
Wilson, Jason. "Writing for the Future: Echeverría’s “El Matadero” and Its Secret Rewriting by Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares as “La Fiesta del Monstruo." Forum for Modern Language Studies, January 23, 2007, p. 5.
Yau, Esther C. M. “Compromised Liberation: The Politics of Class in Chinese Cinema of the Early 1950s.” James, David E. and Rick Berg (eds.). The Hidden Foundation: Cinema and the Question of Class. Minneapolis: University Of Minnesota Press, 1996, pp. 139-171.