Edinburgh Film Festival

We went yesterday to watch the international premiere of “Our Brand is Crisis”.
It is a good film, and hopefully will be on telly soon in Britain, as it apparantly got funding by BBC Storyville. It will also be on in Edinburgh next Wednesday late, worth going to.
Although it is a good film it does not yet have the anxiety shaking narrative of “The revolution will not be televised” hunting shudders of excitement up and down the spine whilst grasping the seat’s arms. It could have been, if there would have been more focus on the Bolivian people and their struggle instead of talking heads and focusing on Goni and his election campaign and the point of view was not from the public and the people’s point of view, but the perspective was from the privileged, middle to upper class, white, north-american, men, basically trying to persuade Gringo Goni how to lie and spin in the election campaign most successfully to get reelected.
The video does show some rare footage of the Bolivian insurrection [Indymedia UK feature: Bolivia smells of insurrection] during the election campaign and afterwards, featuring road blockades, people being shot by the army with live ammunition and some small interviews of Evo Morales and some sentences of ordinary people – but does never go deep enough into the background of the Bolivian crisis to understand fully the state of the game – missing out the IMF, Structural Adjustment Programmes, the WTO and World Bank completely, as it does miss out the general strikes (or any strikes) and the water war. The effects of privatisation of the mining industry on the ordinary people is also not examined deeply enough. In short: the film is simplified too much on the topic of the people’s struggle.
The background information on Bolivia is also scarce.
However, what the film does brilliantly is to show the voters for what a publicity ride they are taken during the election campaign, what the spin doctors do and how.
Democracy becomes a farce, especially when politicians play it dirty against their oppponents.
Also a slight failure is that it is not mentioned who else the political PR consultancy supported, although the countries’ names are listed it actually doesn’t say exactly which person.
With about a cost of at least 2 million pounds a campaign, we know it can not be ANY politician, and we are pretty sure when mentioning Venezuela, it did NOT support Chavez.
It is suggested that in the UK it was actually Blair who made use of that same consultant agency, but that would also have been good to know.
Well in short: sometimes the film drifts into the American way of superficiality, but at other times, it is eye-opening to see the focus groups react to the different TV advertisement, to the spread rumours and gossips, and also the reactions of the consult to nearly each word they say.
And the ignorance of Goni, once elected, disregarding his voters views also is eye-opening when he, despite warning arrogantly and proceeds with his politics towards the insurrection.

Published At