The Barrel (El Galón)


Anabel Rodríguez Ríos
2013 | 11 minutes | South Africa, U.K., Venezuela
U.S. Premiere

The Barrel shows us life in a floating village through a child’s eyes while juxtaposing the poverty and wealth that coexist on the fringes of Venezuela’s oil industry. Every day 832,000 barrels of oil are extracted from Maracaibo Lake, each one worth U.S. $100. Luis, 13, whose family lives on a floating village in the middle of the lake on less than $150 per month, wants a used oil barrel more than anything so he can make a boat and enter a race.

Co-presented by Tribeca Film Festival

Plays with Black Out

What compelled you to see for yourself?
With The Barrel I approached for the first time a topic that has determined the daily lives of Venezuelans. I approached the oil industry from its margins. Even though it is an industry that generates unimaginable amounts of money, ours in an underdeveloped society, very divided and de-attached from its own sources and values. By getting in contact with the people of "El congo mirador"—the village in which the story develops—I came to realize that the divorce between the oil industry and the communities right next to it is chronic.
—Anabel Rodríguez Ríos | Director, The Barrel