Directed by: Diego Vicentini
USA/Venezuela, 2023, 99m
In English and Spanish with English subtitles
Few Americans know much about the terrible human cost of the political upheaval in Venezuela over the last dozen years. Simón, the debut feature from director Diego Vicentini—forced to flee the country as a teenager—gives us a powerful and authentic view of young people risking everything to protest Venezuela’s descent into tyranny. Christian McGaffney (also featured in FFF 2023’s The Duel) shines as a student leader jailed and tortured for his views. Exiled to Miami, he copes not only with trauma, but also deep guilt over a choice he must make: stay in Miami and do what he can for his fellow students, or return to join them in almost certain death. Engaging, intense, and often brutal, with a smart script and sharp direction, Simón is also a beautifully shot love letter to Miami—a remarkable film, unlikely to be seen in its home country.