Growing Up in Oil

Congo Mirador, a small settlement built on stilts in the middle of Lake Maracaibo, Latin
America’s largest oil field, is disappearing as it is turning into a swamp. Growing Up in
Oil is a detailed observation of the community of Congo Mirador while dealing with the
gradual abandonment of their village, done over a year and a half until the last person
has left.It tells this story seen from the angle of the children and the only teacher who –
even though they are literally swimming in oil – are forced to face the most radical change
of their lives. It is a story of decay and lack of love that will dig deep into the reasons of
what makes a social system fall apart such as greed, violence, and abandonment. And
yet it is also a story of resilience and the ability to move on even though all odds are
against you.

I want to dig into the nature of this violent behavior in an early stage; such as it is
manifested in these kids. These are the last days of their childhood, supposedly the most
precious time of their lives, which they will have to leave behind in Congo Mirador. Congo
Mirador is swamping, it is falling apart, it is a disintegrating society. And in this way it
mirrors the whole country, one of the biggest oil-producers in the world, my country –
Venezuela.
Anabel Rodriguez – Director

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