January 19, 2007

An Oscar For Chavez

Maroa: How Music Can Change a Life

An Open Letter from Actress Maria Conchita Alonso

In this time of turmoil in relations between Venezuela and the United States due to Hugo Chavez who the world knows is definitely my political opponent, it is time for the moment to take politics aside and watch this wonderful film, Maroa by director Solveig Hoogesteijn. It is the official selection for the Academy Award from my home country of Venezuela. Unfortunately, all the oil riches of my country are used to fund weapons rather than art. For this reason, I may be the only person telling you about this picture.

In a very dark time for the people of Venezuela, attention to this film will bring a light to them as it brought a light to at least one life. The main character, played by eleven-year-old Yorlis Domínguez, was found on the streets after months of casting, and you’ll be amazed by the power of her performance.

I can be against Mr. Chavez on many political issues with the exception of his regime funding this film. The reason we have Chavez in power right now is because the reality regarding poverty, violence, ignorance and sexual abuse depicted in the movie Maroa, has existed forever in Venezuela and that has to stop. It will never end with someone like Hugo Chavez.

I abhor the attack on the presidency beginning with Castro’s longstanding hatred of the United States presidency dating back to John F. Kennedy, to Chavez’ comparison of the current president, George W. Bush, with the devil. Last week after watching the film, Bobby, it hit me that the only part of that film that someone like Castro and Chavez would enjoy is the assassination at the end.

Maroa is a terrific film that shows how music can change someone’s life. Please support this film when it screens near you. The hatred of Chavez should not blind people from seeing the beautiful art that comes out of Venezuela quite possibly for the last time.

Enjoy Maroa.

¡Viva el arte libre!

Maria Conchita Alonso

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