Araya (1959)

Shown at Cannes in 1959, the year after Venezuela's last dictator Marcos Perez-Jimenez was overthrown, the documentary inadvertently highlights the kind of exploitation of the poor that can lead to rebellion. While the dictator escaped… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: December 31, 1959
DVD Release Date: May 17, 2011
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post

This expertly restored black-and-white work is a thing of wonder.

Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

Margot Benacerraf's starkly beautiful 1959 documentary Araya is the rare film whose austere stylistic impersonality is a key aspect of its elemental power.

Full review…
Amy Taubin

A stunning, strangely liminal movie in form and content.

Full review…
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

This astonishing documentary, so beautiful, so horrifying, was filmed in the late 1950s, when an old way of life had not yet ended.

Full review…
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

It cares so passionately about its subjects that you will as well.

Full review…
Sean Axmaker
Parallax View

Araya is a tone poem, a poetic portrait of an ancient existence in the modern world, with narration (scripted with Pierre Seghers) to match...

Full review…
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe

Like the late famed anthropologist Claude LÚvi-Strauss, the movie wants to find a culture and explain it to the world. Araya finds a degree of romance in that discovery, and is weaker for it.

Full review…
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

Are you one of those moviegoers who likes discovering forgotten gems? Have I got a jewel for you.

Full review…
Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis

Not a documentary in the traditional sense ... this stark black and white film has the feel of an avant-garde science-fiction opus.

Full review…
More reviews for Araya