British-Chilean journalist and documentary director Pablo Navarrete presented his new film Inside the Revolution: A Journey into the Heart of Venezuela at the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts on February 25.
Thirty people attended the screening, which was introduced by independent Australian journalist Rodrigo Acuna.
Inside the Revolution is a powerful antidote to the disinformation of the mainstream media about Venezuela and its goal of 21st century socialism. The film was made with a real affection for the Venezuelan people and their struggle.
The film gave a good picture of what Venezuela's path to socialism means. At 65 minutes long, it is long enough to summarise the history of the Bolivarian revolution without getting lost in the detail.
A feature of the film was how Navarrete let his interviewees speak at length and in-depth about their passion for the revolution and their vision for the future.
The film walked the audience through the major events in Venezuela of the past two decades — from the Caracazo uprising against government austerity measures in February 1989 to the recent regional elections in 2008.
Inside the Revolution showed the incredible enthusiasm of the majority of Venezuelan people for the process. Venezuelans are not waiting to be led. They are actively pushing the democratic and socialist transformation forward and, in the process, creating their own model of a free and fair society.
This film presents Venezuela how it really is: with its successes and its failures. There is still plenty of corruption in the country. But there is also the enormously successful "missions" delivering great advances in health and education.
It's messy and uneven, but ultimately it's an inspiring transformation of a society from top-down authoritarianism to bottom-up inclusiveness.
After the screening, the audience had a chance to talk with the director about the film and his reading of events in Venezuela. Questions focused on the future of the struggle, the role of President Hugo Chavez and the likelihood of military conflict in the region.
Navarrete also discussed his work as a researcher on John Pilger's documentary, The War on Democracy.
He told the crowed that he is working on new projects. It will be worth seeing what this talented young director can do with an improved budget and the experience of making Inside the Revolution behind him.
The film has also screened in Geelong, Newcastle, Wollongong and Melbourne.