Devil Gold

This 2000 Venezuelan feature begins like a TV issue-of-the-week movie, noting the ill effects of gold mining on the Amazonian rain forest, but after a series of melodramatic plot twists it deepens into something much more subtle, a riveting commentary on greed and survival. A mine owner pays one of his employees to steal gold from a rival, and the resulting murders are blamed on a missing woman whose daughter (Rocia Miranda in a nuanced performance) must become a prostitute to make restitution for the lost treasure. At times the film is subverted by its small-screen production values, but it's saved by strong acting and a murky morality that turns the young hooker into an antihero. Jose Novoa directed; with Laureano Olivarez. 90 min.

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