El Amparo

Loved the opening to this film – we spend a good 20 minutes gradually getting to know a group of men, and then set out on the river with them as they head off on a fishing trip. There are the drunken ones who sing annoyingly, the ones who worry too much, the lazy ones, the ones just trying to earn a crust.

And so when the thing happens, I felt a distinct sadness because it was like I knew them already.

Thereafter, we follow the plight of two of the men, imprisoned and under pressure from government officials and the Venezuelan army to plead guilty, when from our point of view we feel they are innocent.

Only at the end did I realise that this is telling a true story, and takes a huge swipe at long-standing corruption at the top level while garnering support for the two men, who are still alive today fighting their corner.

It’s a fascinating and sad story which festivals like Viva bring to audiences who would otherwise not be aware.

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