About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

08 February 2015

Movie: No

Gael García Bernal stars in the Oscar nominated Chilean movie on the "No" campaign in 1988, which eventually leads to a peaceful transition to civilian, democratic rule from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Shot very much in the style of a TV documentary from the late 1980's, it follows the story of an advertising executive who lends his talents in driving a successful campaign that focuses on hope and happiness instead of regurgitating policy discussion points (which is favoured position of Pinochet's team).

While the acting is superb, and manages to interweave historic footage seamlessly within the movie; it is unfortunately quite simplistic (as per this NY Times article). My knowledge of Pinochet has mostly been from bits of his war crimes trial - and unfortunately this movie, while providing some view of the horrors perpetrated by his regime - glosses over what it takes to depose a dictator. Even within the movie, some of the mechanics of how the plebiscite comes to be, and the 15 minutes of opposition airtime is glossed over - and overall it ends up detracting from the power of the movie.

It is actually a good movie (as far as movies go) - but in my opinion, such oversimplification of historic events end up colouring the actual historic events, and the movie ends up being the known historic record. And for me, that is a big problem.

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