Film review: No

20:00, Apr 04 2013
SPEAKING OUT: Gael Garcia Bernal in No, set in Chile during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

NO (118 min) (M) 
Directed by Pablo Larrain. Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Alfredo Castro.

In 1988, the people of Chile were granted a referendum by the brutal and repressive dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Vote ''Yes'' for a continuation of Pinochet's rule, or ''No'' to trigger a democratic election.

Each side of the political divide launched a TV based advertising campaign.

The ''No'' has since gone down in media history as being one of the most important and influential political campaigns ever.

And 1988 perhaps marks the exact moment when the rest of the world - us included - began to think of elections as being decided more by spectacle and personality than they are by facts and debate.

Director Pablo Larrain, who also made the wonderfully subversive Tony Manero, takes actual history and runs it through a prism of contemporary satire.

Shot on genuine 1988 video stock, performed by some of the best actors in the region, and with numerous awards and nominations to its name, No is one of the most original political thrillers you will ever see.


The Dominion Post