Festive Left Friday Blogging: An unlikely hero takes the streets of Caracas

From Venezuela, a cinematic offering that promises to be full of Bolivarian fun:

He’s likable, a gentleman, well versed in the ideals of Simón Bolívar, respects traffic lights, and…he’s a biker. His name? Libertador Morales, “The Justicer”, who will be making the rounds of movie theatres as of July 31, in this year’s first showing by the Villa del Cine.

The author and director of this film is Efterpi Charalambidis, a Venezuelan filmmaker whose first feature film is based on the daily reality in which she was born and grew up: the centre of Caracas and its various denizens.

In this scenario, she developed Libertador Morales, a young mototaxista and messenger who is affected by crimes occurring in his neighborhood. So he creates an alter ego: “El Justiciero”, and by night, with a black outfit and a fast motorbike, he breaks all the rules to stop a band of thieves terrorizing his community.

This contrast, according to Charalambidis, defines various aspects of this character, who comes into conflict with his concept of justice in assuming this attitude, and must face the consequences it brings.


Regarding the message she wants to send, the filmmaker commented that it’s also a reflection on the topic of justice and powerlessness against insecurity, and that she also wanted to vindicate the motorcyclists, given that the public has a negative image of them.

“There are lots of guys like Libertador, I’ve known them, but the city doesn’t put limits on them either and, as I said to one of the actors of the film, the one who plays Libertador’s best friend: It’s not a case of evil, but of practicality–they have to move by the rhythms of the city.”

Translation mine.

Incidentally, there are literally hundreds (or thousands?) of real-life Libertadors buzzing the streets of Caracas on their motorbikes. Not only do they ferry ordinary folks around on their daily errands, they were heroes during the coup of ’02, when they became alternative-media messengers who carried the truth about the events–a truth the lamestream media refused to show–from street to street, shouting it from their bikes. They also helped carry the injured to hospital, and were active in the protests against the Carmona dictatorship.

I wonder when and if this film will be made available on DVD up here. I’d love to see it!

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5 Responses to Festive Left Friday Blogging: An unlikely hero takes the streets of Caracas

  1. Whoa! Those comments at the bottom blew me away. The filmmaker of “La Virgen Negra” is the son of El Fucking Matacuras??? And he’s making movies with the help of state film money?????
    The mind boggleth. Yea verily!

  2. Utpal says:

    Ya know what, the other thing the article mentions is that Castillo Cottin Jr. studied film in Los Angeles, which means USC most likely. And given his age (he is only 25) i would guess that he overlapped with me there (I taught at USC for two years, probably saw him on campus too … somehow his face looks familiar now … 🙂

  3. You probably DID see him. LOL…I wonder if he shares his dad’s putschism, or if he did the “kid goes to university, kid comes home smarter than parents, kid rebels” thing that I did.

  4. Utpal says:

    If you read the interview, he says more or less reasonable things. My guess would be that he is no Chavista, but just has a more pragmatic live-and-let-live attitude towards the govt.

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