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The Cause
IDFA 2019

The Cause

La causa
Andres Figueredo
Venezuela
2019
83 min
World Premiere
Festival history

“This isn’t like any prison in the United States or any developed country, where you get your uniform and an assigned cell. Here, you are first sent to ‘The Church.’ You spend some time adapting there, then you search for a place to live,” explains a prisoner at the General Penitentiary of Venezuela, which is run by the inmates themselves. They settle legal disputes on their own, and even have their own tax system.

If that seems incredible, wait until you’ve seen the whole of this staggering documentary about life in this massively overcrowded prison. The shared open courtyard is, like the cramped cells, constantly swarming with armed prisoners, visiting spouses and children, and scurrying creatures. Money for crack, cocaine and gifts for the kids comes from the shared pot.

Five years’ worth of film material (some of it shot with hidden cameras) and interviews show the internal workings of the prison, and the corrupt penitentiary system around it. Above all, it tells the human story, of current and former inmates searching for salvation through religion, music and even politics.

Credits
Director
Executive producer
    Andres Figueredo,
    Gabriela Rodriguez,
    Pavlo Castillo,
    Maximilian Guen,
    Carlos Morales,
    Vanessa Hernández
Cinematography
Sound
    Andrés Belloso
    Andrés Belloso
Music
    Armando Añez,
    Leo Aldrey
    Armando Añez,
    Leo Aldrey
Screening copy
    Capitolio
    Capitolio
World Sales
    Capitolio
    Capitolio
Sound Design
    Sergio Diaz
    Sergio Diaz

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