At the end of last year, the movie “The platform” (“El hoyo” in Spanish) was released on “Netflix”, given the effects of the pandemic that the planet is suffering at this moment, after the quarantined was decreed, this film didn’t take long to become popular among the users of this platform, among these users, my country, Venezuela, was not far behind. A vertical structure prison with an unknown number of floors, two individuals per floor and an administration that is responsible for bringing down a platform full of food for the residents of the prison on each floor, these are the elements of this movie that hide many more elements than it appears.
I don’t intend to carry out a detailed analysis of the film because that is not the main point of this post, however, I would like to highlight some elements that I consider important to carry out the comparison that I’m about to present. The terrible situation that my country Venezuela, is going through is not a secret to many countries in the world, my country is affected by a government that we all know is a dictatorship that no longer finds a way to go unnoticed in the eyes of the world, the scarcity of resources, the low production and the practically zero purchasing power of the majority of its inhabitants, have awakened the most primitive instinct for survival for many of the inhabitants of this country, who find easier to harm others, through theft or work with speculation of prices before find an honest and profitable source of income. A government based on populism and an ideal of supposed equality for all where the one who ends up being harmed is the same Venezuelan population, victim of misery and shortages of food and basic services.
On the other hand, the film tells us the events that Goreng experiences, a man who wakes up in a vertical structure prison room with floors listed in descending order, with one room per floor, accompanied by an elderly man named Trimagasi, Goreng observe that there is the number 48 on the wall and that he is alone with that older man in that room, in the center of it there is a hole that allows looking into the rooms below, just as there is a hole in the ceiling that allows you to see the rooms above. Dismayed at not understanding the whole situation, he asks his partner questions, who reluctantly answers some. Goreng tries to communicate with the people in the other rooms, however, Trimagasi emphasizes that he should not speak to those below because “They are below" and those above will not answer him because “They are above" . And when He asked "What is “The hole” about?", His partner only answers "Eating", while insisting that "48 is a good number", all doubts about what Trimagasi says soon dissipate when it sounds an alarm and through the hole in the ceiling a platform full of food descends, however, these foods have been chewed, because someone has already eaten them previously, the people on the upper floors have already eaten that food, Trimagasi immediately begins to devour all the food that He can during the time that the platform is on its floor before descending, is at this moment when Goreng understands that if there is no control and there is no consideration of those who are on the highest floors compared to those who are in the lower ones, the food will soon run out and people on the lower floors will not be able to eat absolutely anything, so survival in that prison didn’t depend on any other thig than how lucky you are when you are assigned the floor of your room and the quantity of food consumed by those who are on higher levels. All residents are randomly changed floors each month, so you can eat like a king at level 3 for an entire month and then starve to death at level 200.
What comparison did I allude to earlier? It was not exactly about the food shortage, which if it is present in the reality of each Venezuelan, who cannot aspire to feed himself with the minimum wage and must resort to having multiple jobs or doing other types of work in order to subsist each month. Although there is a similarity in that aspect, more than the economic one, I want to talk a little about the social aspects that the film presents to us and those that are lived in Venezuela. Throughout history, the upper class has always existed, favored in every aspect, from place of residence, to salary and public services. Venezuela, of course, is not the exception to this rule. In recent years, the vast majority of the population, including those located in formerly upper-class sectors, have suffered problems regarding electricity and water services. The mismanagement of the government has caused an increasing shortage of resources and these cannot be supplied to all the habitants of the country, for this reason hundreds of Venezuelans are observed with great indignation with their homes full of containers to store water, as many more, They only have access to vital liquid for a couple of hours a day, at week or even a month in the poorest sectors.
You can easily establish a comparison of the country's upper class with people residing on the first floors of the prison, however this type of injustice can be seen reflected in an average building in Venezuela, we are not talking about a class area high compared to a low class area, I want to talk about the building where I reside, which is located in a middle class area, where we have water service for approximately an hour and a half a day, which may be more or less this time, however, sometimes, several days elapse without receiving the slightest amount of water. In the movie, the administration sends the food from the highest floor, and it begins to descend, in my building the water reaches a large tank located underground where the water is stored and then it is driven by pumps to the building so that each floor can be supplied with the vital liquid, as soon as the water begins to arrive to each apartment, everyone runs desperate to fill their containers because they don’t know what will happen the next day, they don’t know when they will receive water again in their homes, it all depends on how much water enters the building during the day, if it's only enough to start the pumps for an hour, what happens to those people who live on the 25th floor? There are more than 20 floors with 8 apartments each, all with the water faucets open at maximum power for one hour, with that rhythm it is very difficult for the water to rise to the highest floor in such a short time, because the floors bottoms monopolize it all, while keeping the keys open to recharge packs or to take a shower.
Throughout the film reference is made to the low awareness of the habitants of the prison, who do not care what happens to the people on the lower floors while they can eat, this is evident when Goreng has a new partner who insists that if everyone eats in equal proportions, it would be enough for everyone in the hole, and he only receives jobs in response, where the residents affirm that they already suffered at very low levels and now they have to eat until they burst because they are in a higher level. Despair is present in the characters who only think about eating for their own survival.
Well no, in my building we don’t have a platform that moves food down, we have a water pump that pumps it up for each floor of the building, we don’t have two people per floor who devour food as soon as it reaches its floor, we have eight apartments per floor that quickly open their water keys and begin to recharge their supplies and take a shower as soon as water arrives to home, we don’t have people starving on the lower levels, unfortunately we have people who live in flats higher than 20 and it takes a long time for the water to arrive or they just can't see it during the hour that the pump is on.
On multiple occasions I have observed my neighbors on the upper floors asking for consideration to those on the lower floors, calling on everyone's conscience, to wait a little time for them to let the water rise to the 25th floor so that those people give them time to recharge the water and once they finish, the rest start, it was for this analogy that I decided to write this post, because it turns out that we live in a small version of the hole, this one backwards of course, but in essence it is the same situation, as long as those on the lower levels are not considered and wait a reasonable time, the water will never reach the people on the upper floors on time. Neither We change our floors monthly nor we are waiting for what floor we will wake up in the following month, we live with the uncertainty of whether water will enter the tank so that the pumps can be turned on and we can get the vital liquid.
In the film you can see the selfishness of those who wake up on the 5th floor and eat every day as much as they can without thinking about those who are “down”, the despair of the people who wake up on the 200th floor and cannot do anything because nobody pays attention to them because they are "below", in my building I observe the selfishness and despair of those who live on the first floor and do not wait even five minutes after they turn on the pumps to fill their huge containers with liters and liters of water or taking showers and despair and calls for solidarity from those who live on the 25th floor who live waiting for a stroke of luck to the time that the pumps will be on be extended so that they have time to fill their containers and clean themselves.
Trimagasi affirms that 48 is a good number and later Goreng makes it clear when he implies that at least the first 50 levels eat every day, so "48 is a good number", me? I live on the 13th floor, practically half of the building, I’m not the first one to receive the water, however, with almost complete certainty it will always give me time to fill up, it can be said that "13 is a good number" in the film there is talk of those who think of others and perhaps a messiah who can balance things for everyone, for my part I wait, I wait a reasonable time from the moment the water arrives, before I start filling my containers, I wait Until my friends of 25th floor have managed to receive some water, perhaps my contribution is diminished by that lady who does not wait to fill her water bottles on the 3rd floor, but it is the contribution I can make in consideration of the residents of the upper floors, perhaps I have never felt the same despair as the neighbor of 22th floor, knowing that the pumps are on and they still without receive a drop of water, but more than once we have all lived for weeks without receiving water, therefore a little collaboration and consciousness will not kill anyone, some of that collaboration and awareness that the crisis of the country has wrested Venezuelans to the point that a film of "Netflix" becomes a mirror so meaningful.