Lost Angel in a Hostile City (Angel perdido en una ciudad hostil)
translated by Prof. Charles Philip Thomas
Angel perdido en la ciudad hostil (Lost Angel in the Hostile City) by Venezuelan playwright Rodolfo Santana examines the present day political crisis in Venezuela wherein he tells the story of Jaffael, an angel who has taken on human form and shows up in the city. Jaffael, himself, does not know the reason for his presence and patiently spends his time walking around the urban area, taking in the ambience of the hustle and bustle of the streets, restaurants and hotels in order to enjoy and experience human activity.
The effect of his beneficent presence spreads to all the inhabitants of the large city and makes crime disappear for two days, taking the police completely by surprise. Soon, a special group of citizens deeply involved in corruption and crime (ministers, senators, journalists and owners of mass media, high ranking military personnel, industrialists and union leaders, etc.) search their souls and take a long look at themselves. The crimes and miscarriages of justice that are revealed as these individuals try to atone for their misdeeds causes a serious crisis in the government. It is on the verge of collapse due to the rampant corruption in its hallowed chambers. Other citizens, who are stunned with the revelations of the failings of their leaders, are profoundly affected because two hit men, Macedonian Infante and Daniel Ontiveros, are trying to find the angel and put an end to his influence. If need be, they will eliminate him. In the end, Jaffael manages to escape from the city. Jaffael is a lost angel in a hostile city, a protagonist in a theatre of magical realism, fitting for our times. The play creates a metaphor that fits perfectly with the times we are living through, especially because it addresses the urgent need to take a look at ourselves as human beings, as well as our role in communities, and to help curtail our present path toward self-destruction.
The angels created by Rodolfo Santana are of flesh and bone. They are like Jaffael, they can choose to leave, or stay to help the situation. Santana has emphasized that "Artists at this moment are committed because of the current political crisis, which is a normal thing. That stops the creative process somewhat. But little by little, I am sure, we will fashion the metaphors, the paradoxes, the beautiful works that will convey the images born out of the crisis that deeply affect us. We will come out of this in good shape."
Works in Translation by
Prof. Charles Philip Thomas