Ostensibly, the film was intended to discuss the recent political upheaval in Venezuela and the impact Hugo Chavez has had on the region. In actuality, it was just a ridiculous pro-Chavez propaganda film. It actually was not unlike most old Soviet-era propaganda that we watch now for laughs. The only difference here was that there was a large, very receptive audience of hippies buying everything they heard hook, line, and sinker.
I'm as liberal as they come. I'm a self-described socialist and I agree that the plight of the impoverished in third world countries isn't something we can ignore. However, I'm also strongly against mindless BS. This film was full of emotional appeal and plenty of anger, but it never actually managed to offer any kind of alternative to the way it is.
They showed clips of Chavez giving passionate speeches to large crowds, a la Mussolini, and giving such insightful advice as "We must end poverty!" and "We must conquer oppression!" Well, fine. That's great. But does he say how to do that? Nope. It's just empty platitudes.
The film gave about two minutes to the opposing argument, which it actually referred to as "The Enemy." About 40% of Venezuelans voted against Chavez. They think he has polarized the country and made Venezuelans hate each other. They believe that his pseudo-Communist policies have essentially destroyed their country's economy and infrastructure. Those are all valid points. All of which were completely ignored by the film. Instead, they derided such comments as "Capitalistic" and "Bourgeois." Listen. You can't end poverty by sealing up your borders and throwing out all the big, bad corporations. I understand that CAFTA and the WTO are hurting South Americans. But instead of flatly rejecting CAFTA, insist on fair trade. That's a solution, and it makes far more sense to me than empty platitudes and mindless propaganda.
What annoys me most about this film is that it's such a great subject. They could have started such a great dialog about what needs to happen. They should have been more objective and given more credence to the "opposing" opinions. Instead, they squandered their opportunity and managed to give Chavez a collective blow job. Bravo.
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