Bill C’s Review – 3.5 out of 5
‘No’ is the 2012 Chilean Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. It tells the story of the the Chilean plebiscite that would determine if Augusto Pinochet would remain in power for another 8 years. Due to international pressure Pinochet allowed for the creation of political parties and 15 minutes of political ads on TV per day.
The film uses a lot of archival footage (about 30%) and the fictionalized pieces are shot in a way that gives the whole film the feel of a documentary. The film centers on an advertising exec, Renee Saavedra (well played by Gael Garcia Bernal) and his desire to focus the campaign on returning the country to happiness instead of a more serious theme that emphasized the atrocities of Pinochet. This alienates many of the leaders of the ‘No’ camapign but once the happiness them gains traction the leaders of the ‘No’ campaign face dirty tactics and threats. The story is well told and has both humor from the campaign and tension as the campaign unfolds.
The film has faced some controversy in Chile as many feel the film oversimplified the campaign by just focusing on the advertising campaign, Here’s a good article from the N.Y. Times
This film is definitely worth seeing. The film has English subtitles but even my subtitle hating wife enjoyed the movie.