8 February 2013 5:05 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Pablo Larraín's film about Chilean democracy is simple and direct, heartfelt and involving

Pablo Larraín's No dramatises Chile's Berlin Wall moment in 1988. Under international pressure to legitimise his government, but bathing in the support of a newly prosperous middle and upper-middle class and hugely confident of success, General Pinochet allowed a referendum on whether he would be allowed another eight years in office. This movie dramatises the "No" campaign devised by young advertising executive René Saavedra, played by Gael García Bernal, who decided to stay away from angry political images and instead emphasise an upbeat, almost apolitical vision of happiness and the future. For the dispossessed Chilean left, merely participating in the Pinochet plebiscite was already a sellout; now this young media type apparently proposed to take their resistance to tyranny and sell it like some Pepsi alternative to Pinochet's Coke. The campaign triggers a serious debate about how much to remember, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Gael García Bernal
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