Flor de la Mar

Jorge Thielen Armand
2015 | 24 minutes| Venezuela, Canada
New York Premiere 

On a remote Venezuelan island lie the ruins of Nueva Cádiz, the first European city in the Americas. Abandoned by the Spanish in the 16th century, the island now has a population of 51—all descendants of the slaves who built the city. Recent attempts by the Venezuelan government to revitalize the historic island have been foiled by mismanagement and insufficient funding, and the local community of fishermen is left to protect the site and their way of life. 

Followed by Sailing a Sinking Sea

Thresholds, My Perspective

"By exploring the cancellation of a project to restore the ruins of Nueva Cádiz, Flor de la Mar brings us to an isolated community of fishermen whose lives revolve around protecting a set of stones. The descendants of this forgotten community, which was abandoned 500 years ago, were finally promised revitalization of their historic island in 2007. But the funds for the project mysteriously vanished, leaving the fishermen crystallized in their indigenous ways. Some say that the confines imposed by the ocean around them prevented the development of a “world heritage site.” But the real barrier these fishermen face is a collective lack of respect for the past. Flor de la Mar gives an unprecedented glimpse into this vanishing world through the touching testimonies of the fishermen and the people who’ve tried to protect this important site for humanity."

- Jorge Thielen Armand | Director, Flor de la Mar