The Silence of the Flies

At the beginning of this Venezuelan documentary (2013), an onscreen title announces that reported instances of suicide in remote Andean communities have risen steadily over the past two decades; what follows is not a journalistic account but rather a poetic meditation on the social repercussions of the crisis. Director Eliezer Arias advances a societal perspective by interweaving profiles of several different cases and pairing the audio of his interview subjects with shots of landscapes or other people. Chronic depression comes to seem like a plague afflicting everyone in this isolated region, and though Arias doesn’t force the metaphor, the relentlessly mournful tone is devastating. In Spanish with subtitles.