La prisión de mi padre

Iván Andrés Simonovis Pertíñez
Venezuela | 2023 | 81 min
World premiere
Language : Spanish
Subtitles : English, French

Iván Simonovis, security chief of the Caracas police, was sentenced to thirty years in prison in 2009. He became the most famous political prisoner in President Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, an event that had dramatic consequences for him and his family. His son, Iván, tells his story through extraordinarily beautiful, at times spectacular archive material, combined with a highly personal, direct style.

“I never decided to make this documentary. It was as if the documentary was making me. It began as a need to document the human rights abuses that were taking place in my home and in my country.”

Iván Simonovis, the most important political prisoner in Venezuela - sentenced to thirty years after a direct order by former President Hugo Chavez himself - decides to escape not only from his home, where he has been serving house arrest for five years, but also from the country. This life or death decision is made based on the suspicion that the government is preparing to lock him up again in a 2 square metre cell, where he had already served ten years. In a clever and personal manner, his son - Iván Andrés Simonovis Jr. - articulates this political story with an extraordinary archive of home movies, which include all kinds of records: from his own birth and the typical moments of celebration of a happy bourgeois family in Caracas, to his father’s trial, sentence, and confinement, as well as the latter’s plans for escape. The filmmaker interrogates himself and his parents, prodding them to think about the past, and about why things happened as they did. In the meantime, their daily life, marked by the tension of constant surveillance and violence, appears absolutely uncertain.


Violeta Bava

My Father’s Prison, 2023
Caracas 9 de enero, 2018
Desde el exilio, 2017
A la deriva, 2015
Iván Andrés Simonovis Pertíñez
Luka Šuto
Juan Soto Taborda

International Feature Film Competition

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