EMMA CEPLINSKAS, Special to The Denisonian—Struggling to survive in a nation that has been jilted into disorder, the documentary “Está Todo Bien” (“It’s All Good”) follows the lives of a pharmacist, a trauma surgeon, a social activist and two cancer patients as they navigate the collapsed health system in Venezuela. Director Tuki Jencquel, originally from the Venezuelan capital city Caracas, highlights dire health issues experienced by Venezuelans, ranging from medicine shortages to a mass exodus of doctors to overseas hospitals, stemming from the political and economic turmoil prevalent in Venezuela,
Filmed between May 2016 and August 2017, the stories told in this film include: Rebeca, a 19-year-old with leukaemia who is forced to find medication through social media; Mildred, a mother in remission with fear of relapsing due to medicine shortages; Efraím, a young doctor struggling to live on only $12 per month who is in fear of persecution for protesting against injustice; Francisco, an activist smuggling medication into Venezuela; and Rosalía who is struggling to keep her pharmacy in business.
A key element to the documentary is Jencquel’s inclusion of theatre exercises employed by the film’s participants. These exercises and performances, held on a stage and filmed in black and white, provide an emotional escape for the affected participants in which they express their fears, sorrows, and hopes for a better future.
By contrasting moments of actuality with these intimate moments of theatrical exercises, Jencquel allows for the participants to become better acquainted with other people’s experiences of struggle and form bonds with each other for support and solidarity.
Ultimately, “Está Todo Bien” asks the several Venezuelan citizens featured in this documentary to confront questions that many Venezuelans are currently facing: to protest or comply, leave or stay, lose hope or maintain faith.