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Assignment: Venezuela (1956)

| Documentary, Short
An American goes to work in the booming oil industry of Venuzuela.




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An American employee of Creole Petroleum Corporation comes to Venezuela to start his new job on the Lake Maracaibo (which he mistakenly thinks is narrow) oilfields. He sees the country's sights and it's cities, which impress him with their modernity, and learns Spanish while preparing for his family's arrival. Written by Jonathan D. H. Parshall <parshall@citcom.net>

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Documentary | Short





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An idealized view
10 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Like 99% of the people who have seen "Assignment Venezuela", it was brought to them via the geniuses at MST3K, although it did not air. They did a very good job of making fun of it as usual, but aside from the laughs there is a lot learn from this short, even though one must read between the lines to fully appreciate it. This was an educational short meant to acquaint the expatriate employees of Creole Oil (a subsidiary of Standard Oil I believe,) with a strange country. Its a standard corporate propaganda video for the 50s that gives a sugarcoated overview of the wonders of Venezuela. From beautiful(and likely very polluted) Lake Maracaibo to the hustle and bustle of Caracas, our narrator takes us on a journey that is laced with assurance and paternalism. It is this were the short succeeds. It can be quite difficult for people to adjust when living and working in a foreign land, and it is a good idea for a company to give its workers a heads up when stationing them overseas.

Unfortunately, this is a very idealized view of Venezuela in 1956. It was an unstable country both politically and economically. The country at the time was ruled by Colonel Perez Jimenez, a brutally efficient strongman who took power in a coup in 1948, who himself would later be overthrown in a revolt in 1958. It was very irresponsible of Creole Oil not to make its employees aware of the political situation of the host country in this short.

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