Venezuelan director Alberto Arvelo set out to capture Simon Bolivar’s more human side in El Libertador, one of the biggest Latin American productions in recent years, on a par with Hollywood films with its budget of $50 million. The film, which premiered in Venezuela on July 24, marking the anniversary of Bolivar’s birth, will soon screen in other Latin American countries.
El Libertador is the biography of the leader who was born in Caracas in 1783 and died in Santa Marta in 1783. It narrates, from the time of Bolivar’s birth, the events that led to his determination to defend the rights of indigenous people and slaves, focusing on his personal life including his pain following the death of his wife Maria Teresa and his passionate relationship with Manuela Sáenz.
The film stars Edgar Ramirez (Venezuela), Danny Huston (Italy), Gary Lewis (Scotland), Iwan Rheon (United Kingdom), Maria Velverde (Spain), and Colombian actress Juana Acosta and features 10,000 extras. It was shot on 100 sets in both Venezuela and Spain. The cast recreates a journey through the visual imagery of nineteenth century society to show how Bolívar won independence for several countries and established the first union of independent nations in Latin America.
El Libertador is a co-production between Venezuela (Producciones Insurgentes) and Spain (San Mateo Films), with major support from Germany (WNG Films) and the United States (Silver Screen Inc).