"Instructive, But Liberal"
What You Need To Know:
NO is engrossing, but goes on a little too long. Sadly, the movie doesn’t mention the tyrannical left-wing policies and tactics of many of Pinochet’s opponents. It also has lots of foul language. That said, NO shows how a positive, forward-looking campaign can inspire people to go out and vote. It also shows how regular mass media techniques from commercial TV can be used to promote political change. In that sense, NO is an instructive movie for anyone who wants to promote such change successfully.
(RoRo, PCPC, RHRH, B, P, LLL, V, A, D, M) Liberal humanist worldview with some politically correct revisionist history regarding events in Chile for the last 40 years or so, but with an insightful view of what the mass media can accomplish (and how) in trying to get votes one way or another through positive, uplifting advertising with a couple references to God and some references to liberty; 46 obscenities (mostly “f,” “s” and “a” words) and one light profanity; some violence includes police beating, riot suppression, female activist has bruises, and some newsreel footage about torture, riots, and political killings in Chile in the 70s and 80s; no sex; no nudity; some alcohol use, some smoking; and, lying and military government harasses opposition.
NO is an intriguing movie from Chile about the 1988 campaign to vote military leader General Pinochet out of power. Although the movie leaves out some important facts about the tyrannical leftist regime Pinochet and the military deposed, the movie still provides an interesting example in how to use the mass media effectively, politically speaking. Therefore, it offers some valuable insights, whether you agree with the movie’s politics and history or not.
The movie focuses on a young advertising executive, Rene Saavedra, who’s deep in the throes of planning a light cola commercial. Rene’s approach by a coalition of parties opposed to General Augusto Pinochet’s regime. Under pressure, Pinochet has called for a plebiscite on his rule. If you vote, yes, he rules for another eight years. If you vote no, a new government will be formed.
Rene’s estranged wife thinks the new plebiscite is a fraud, but he’s not so sure. He advises the No campaign to do a non-threatening campaign, with little to no references to the alleged violence and torture committed by the military regime. Of course, by this time, a series of free market reforms had turned around the ailing economy created by the former regime’s increasingly radical, leftist policies. So, running a negative campaign might have angered too many average citizens.
Naturally, the more radical people in the No campaign against Pinochet are upset by the kind of campaign Rene wants to run. Also, the more tough members of Pinochet’s regime decide to exert their pressure on the people in more nefarious ways, to make sure their man retains power.
Will Rene succeed in overcoming the complaints of the radicals? Will his campaign be victorious, despite the pressure to vote Yes?
NO is engrossing, but goes on a little too long. It also focuses too much in the second half on the minutiae in the campaign. Some of that gets a little confusing.
Sadly, the movie doesn’t mention the tyrannical left-wing policies the pro-communist regime before Pinochet was apparently promoting and considering in its move to the left, toward the evil empire of the Soviet Union and its stooges in Cuba. Nor does it mention the mass executions the leaders in that regime were planning against the military and other opponents. Thus, it only focuses on the force that the military junta used to maintain its power.
That said, NO shows how a positive, forward-looking campaign can inspire people to go out and vote. It also shows how regular mass media techniques from commercial TV can be used to promote political change. In that sense, NO is an instructive movie for anyone who wants to learn how to promote political change successfully. There’s lots of strong foul language too, however, so extreme caution is advised.