La Casa de Agua (1983)

Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - Venezuela  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Set in the 1920s in Venezuela, this political melodrama by Jacobo Penzo follows the decision of the fictional Cruz Elías León (Franklin Virguéz), a young Venezuelan poet, to give up a life of social and possibly mainstream political advancement to go back to his home and family in an isolated fishing village and combat the despotic military dictator in charge of the country. During the first half of the story, Cruz is involved in his student career, literary movements, and the beckoning luxuries of a solid social position, but the call of social justice is stronger than the lure of the easy life, and Cruz returns home. Once there, his antigovernment activities lead to his arrest and torture, the latter shown in sequences at the beginning and end of the film with the poet submerged in a water chamber. Unfortunately, Penzo's melodramatic, surface rendering of his revolutionary theme reduces much of the dialogue and characterization to clichés and stereotypes, missing in new insights or perspectives.

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Keywords

against-all-odds, arrest, dictator, oppression, poet, revolution, student, torture