"The Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels Would Be Proud"
What You Need To Know:
OUR BRAND IS CRISIS is loosely based on a 2005 documentary about the 2002 Bolivian elections. It stars Sandra Bullock as “Calamity Jane,” a female campaign expert retired for six years because campaign work drives her to drink. A former colleague approaches Jane to help a struggling Bolivian presidential candidate named Castillo, who’s being helped by her archrival, played by Billy Bob Thornton. Thus begins an often-comic battle between the two operatives. They pull dirty tricks on one another and the electorate. Jane also pulls a dirty trick on Castillo to force him to run negative ads against his major opponent, who sits atop the polls. OUR BRAND IS CRISIS barely holds together. The story moves from campaign incident to campaign incident. The premise doesn’t really show up until the end. Even worse, the premise turns out to be a false, humanist, socialist, anti-capitalist message about “the people” rising up to establish a vague communist, anti-capitalist brotherhood centered on Latin American racial identity. Media-wise viewers will want to avoid OUR BRAND IS CRISIS, which also contains a lot of crude language.
(HH, SoSoSo, CoCoCo, AcapAcap, PCPC, RHRH, FRFR, C, B, LLL, VV, S, N, AA, DD, MM) Strong humanist worldview with very strong socialist, communist, anti-capitalist elements, often implied and not always developed, plus some politically correct leftist/liberal revisionist history and a philosophical confusion about the definition of capitalism (including what Adam Smith meant by the “invisible hand” of the market and the character of the International Monetary Fund, which is really a socialist institution) and the definition of truth, but one candidate is seen praying in a Christian church; at least 61 obscenities (including some “f” words), four strong profanities, 11 light profanities, woman ill with altitude sickness vomits into trashcan, a couple obscene gestures include woman “moons” her male rival riding on his campaign bus as her bus passes, man urinates into toilet while talking on phone to woman; strong violence when vehicle hits a llama and some riot violence, people throw rocks at bus and break a couple windows, police clash with demonstrators, man smashes an egg onto political candidate’s face, and candidate punches him, references to a past suicide, drunken people using women’s lingerie as a slingshot accidentally break a window and are arrested; some crude sexual comments about fornication, self-abuse, references to a political candidate’s adultery, a crude reference to a false bestiality accusation in a historical campaign; rear female nudity when woman on bus “moons” other bus containing her rival and a couple shots of upper female nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking and a few references to drug abuse; and, cheating, lying, dirty tricks, manipulation, and moral and intellectual relativism during a political campaign but rebuked, mostly implicitly, plus some cynical beliefs about politics, democracy and elections are mentioned.
Loosely based on a documentary, OUR BRAND IS CRISIS is about a female political campaign expert from America brought into Bolivia to save the presidential campaign of a man whom the people don’t trust, and how she battles a rival campaign manager to help her man win at any cost. OUR BRAND IS CRISIS would be perfect humanist, socialist, anti-capitalist propaganda except it’s a bit disjointed, is often more implied than overt, and contains plenty of strong foul language. The movie stars Sandra Bullock as “Calamity Jane,” a female campaign expert retired for six years because campaign work drives her to drink. At her secluded chalet in the mountains, she’s approached by a former colleague and a new guy to help a Bolivian presidential candidate named Castillo, who’s down by 30 percent in the polls. She at first is reluctant to get involved, but when she’s told her former archrival, Pat Candy (played by Billy Bob Thornton), is handling the other main candidate, she decides to get involved as a means of personal revenge and redemption to make up for losing several races to him. Thus, begins an often-comic battle royal between the two operatives. Candy tries to keep his icy coolness and mess with Jane’s head, while Jane angrily declares the only ways to win an election are to fight hard, go negative against opponents and do anything it takes to win. The two pull dirty tricks on one another. Also, Jane pulls a dirty trick on Castillo to force him to agree to run negative ads against his major opponent, Rivera, who sits atop the polls. OUR BRAND IS CRISIS barely holds together as the story moves from campaign incident to campaign incident. The premise doesn’t really show up until the end of the movie. Even worse, it turns out to be a humanist, socialist, anti-capitalist message about “the people” rising up to establish some sort of vague communist brotherhood centered on racial identity, in this case Latino. Thus, the ending actually supports a Latin American brotherhood against the capitalist greed that, according to the movie, is ruining democratic elections in the United States and Latin America. The original documentary focused on real-life campaign consultant James Carville helping a presidential candidate win in Bolivia in 2002. Carville’s candidate does win, but he violates a campaign promise to hold a referendum on a proposal to help the country by striking a financial deal with the International Monetary Fund run by 22 or so countries, including the United States government. After that bonehead move, the winner is eventually thrown out of office and replaced by the leftwing activist Evo Morales, who came in third place in 2002 and is now in his third four-year term. The plot of this movie follows these political events, but it adds and makes Sandra Bullock’s female consultant as the one who helps a candidate win the presidency, while a fictional Carville-like consultant helps the candidate who eventually comes in second. One scene tells all you need to know about this socialist propaganda posing as an “insightful” political drama and satire. Sandra Bullock’s character and her team are sharing some drinks with the poor family of one of their local gofers. They’re talking about the benefits of capitalism, but one of the family members mocks Adam Smith’s notion of the “invisible hand” of the free market, saying that the hand is actually around their throats. This line is the kind of glib, empty communist joke that spreads more heat than light because the fact is, in today’s world of centralized fiscal policies, government welfare, and international monetary funds run by big governments, we no longer really have a “free” market. The poor people in Bolivia (or the United States for that matter) are not being strangled by the invisible hand of a free market, much less by free enterprise. No, they – and nearly everyone else – are being strangled by the all-too-visible hand of big government, which has corrupted citizens, businesses, the electoral process, and Hollywood. Media-wise viewers, therefore, will want to avoid OUR BRAND IS CRISIS, which also contains a lot of crude language, lying and cheating. It’s a genial movie, with solid performances, but it’s leftist propaganda, and pretty forgettable leftist propaganda at that. At one point, a reference is made to Joseph Goebels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister. Ironically, the movie itself uses methods that Goebbels used in the movies he produced for Hitler and the National Socialist or Nazi Party in Germany. The filmmakers of OUR BRAND IS CRISIS are so clueless they probably wouldn’t recognize this fact, but that’s what they did. OUR BRAND OF CRISIS is not as overt as the Nazi Party’s documentaries were, but its propaganda in favor of the evil ideology of anti-capitalist socialism is very evident.