May 14, 2021

"One of the current traumas is how Caracas has been getting smaller" | Culture

"One of the current traumas is how Caracas has been getting smaller" | Culture



In love with Caracas, the Venezuelan filmmaker Gustavo Rondón (Caracas, 1977), it hurts to see how it is increasingly difficult to see how this great city, vibrant in its youth, has been losing brightness and is becoming smaller by the situation in which the country lives. With his feet on the ground and clinging to the soil of his homeland, Venezuela, has built the floor that has led him to successfully present his debut and lay the foundations "for whatever comes." He already has a project in his hands that talks about immigration, but not from the point of view of the one who leaves, but from the one who returns and the change of the bonds upon his return. "I consider myself a very Caraqueño type, who somehow enjoyed my city to the fullest and one of the current traumas is how it has become smaller, it has been closing us". Not only for the insecurity, but also for those who leave, he explains in conversation with EL PAÍS. Caracas is the omnipresent protagonist of his opera prima The family, a film of uprooting and violence, family relationships and loneliness in a hostile environment. The film, which has been selected by Venezuela to compete as Oscar candidate in the category of Best Foreign Film and the Goya Awards of the Spanish Film Academy, is presented today in the cinemas of Spain.

When I was little I wanted to be …

I think that because of family models, I wanted to be a dentist and my mom who is a dentist said 'no' and I appreciate it a lot. And musician … it's still something that moves me a lot, fifteen years ago I stopped playing but … makes a gesture of nostalgia.

Who would you like to be trapped in an elevator with?

With Nuri Bilge Ceylan, a Turkish director who talks very little about what we could do … talk between two guys who talk very little. [Ríe]

Is there a movie that changed his life?

Paris Texas (1984) by Wim Wenders. It is a story that treats emotional bonds in such a subtle, elegant way that it is something I would like to explore and try to do.

What movie would you have liked to do?

Many but Valley of Love (2015), a genre that I do not usually see, with Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert … I would love to have made a movie like this one. But there are many.

Professionally, what are you most proud of?

Having built a career with solidity. I made a lot of shorts, now the movie … this is a consequence of something I had built before. And I think also the fact that now we can collaborate and help other people who come further back.

What do the awards mean?

It is a result of a path of great honesty, a lot of work, not only mine, but a super team and a lot of rigor. Suddenly they help you to open the door more, but in reality, the raw operas are difficult and, in truth, the world does not expect a Venezuelan film. We are not Mexico, Argentina, Brazil … but we have been growing in recent years.

The best advice that one of your parents gave you?

Work with rigor and honesty

The last time you cried?

About a month and a half ago my sister came here. This year there was the dismemberment of my family that was something that had not happened in all these years of diaspora and this year my two brothers went to different places.

Why do you stay in Venezuela?

I do not have a clear answer. Every time it becomes more elusive. I think it has to do first with the affections and in the second place with the cinema lived a bubble that had us working for a long time, many of us could develop a career there and it did not change until a couple of years ago.

The diaspora of Venezuelan cinema is very strong. In Madrid, Mexico, I have more friends than in Caracas. But making movies as a foreigner is very difficult. That's why we stay there. We wanted to make this movie and feed it as much as possible.

Is there a movie character that you look like?

I dont know. I do not place any now. There are people who say that the character in the movie has some trait of mine, I do not see it that way.

Favorite place in the world?

Madrid is a place that I like very much.

Any place that inspires you?

Caracas.

Where would you never live?

In Cairo, it is a rather hostile place and it is a projection of what my country could become, at a certain point, in terms of human relations.

Is there anything that leaves you sleepless?

The not being able to guarantee stability to my direct environment. As an adult one could carry 'carajazos' [golpes] They are, but I have two children already and they start some different anxieties.

How do you see the future of Venezuela?

Uncertain. You always feel that something is about to change and change, but I think there are many forces that do not happen. You can spend any amount of time [hasta que algo cambie]. There is a very large demobilization of citizenship, there is an element of political work in the darkness that is generating that demobilization and at the same time a political disorganization in the opposition force. The citizen is ready for a long time to change this but there are a lot of things that are preventing it. You have the feeling that this can not take it anymore … the political, economic, social situation, because they are all very related, but you realize that the network of power, not only internal but also external, is very strong.

What would you say to President Nicolás Maduro?

It's a complicated question … I avoid political questions, I like cinema more … but I would say that it respects more its population, that power generates a drunkenness that moves away from the citizen and the [semejante]. I think it's one of the things that happens, that power gets you drunk and then you turn your back on who put you there.

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