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Pablo Larraín (2012)

112min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
In 1988, after 15 years in power, General Augusto Pinochet, the military dictator who overthrew Chile's democratic government in 1973 (with American support), staged a referendum to try to give his regime greater international legitimacy. It looked like he would win, despite widespread stories of torture, disappearances and the killing of opponents. In this drama, inspired by real events, Gael Garciá Bernal plays the advertising executive brought in as campaign director for Pinochet's opponents, who prompts outrage when he suggests the "No" campaign should downplay the misery and employ the language of television advertising. This means selling democracy as if it were washing-up liquid, with a rainbow logo and a bouncy jingle promising "Happiness is coming". Director Pablo Larrain (Tony Manero) shot on old-fashioned video tape, enabling him to blend archive news footage into the story, which gives it a rough-edged authenticity. And although Bernal's character remains sketchy and underplayed, the film still manages to provide an insight into the period and pack an emotional wallop. However, some may feel uncomfortable with the underlying message that a good jingle has more potency than first-hand accounts of torture.

Summary

In 1988, Chile's military dictator Augusto Pinochet is forced by international pressure to hold a referendum on his continued rule. An advertising executive is recruited by the opposition leaders, and despite limited resources and the threat of the tyrant's forces, launches a campaign to liberate the nation. Fact-based drama, starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Alfredo Castro. In Spanish.

Cast & Crew

René Saavedra Gael García Bernal
Lucho Guzman Alfredo Castro
Urrutia Luis Gnecco
Verónica Antonia Zegers
Costa Marcial Tagle
Fernando Arancibia Néstor Cantillana
Minister Jaime Vadell
Simón Pascal Montero
Director Pablo Larraín
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Other Information

Language: Spanish +subtitles Colour and Black and White Theatrical distributor: Network Releasing Guidance: Swearing. Available on: Available on DVD Released on: 8 Feb 2013

Drama

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