A crisis counselor is sent by the Catholic Church to a small Chilean beach town where disgraced priests and nuns, suspected of crimes ranging from child abuse to baby-snatching from unwed mothers, live secluded, after an incident occurs.
Military dictator Augusto Pinochet calls for a referendum to decide his permanence in power in 1988, the leaders of the opposition persuade a young daring advertising executive - René Saavedra - to head their campaign. With limited resources and under the constant scrutiny of the despot's watchmen, Saavedra and his team conceive of a bold plan to win the election and free their country from oppression. Written by
First, let me start by saying that some knowledge of the events depicted in this film would come useful. I'm Chilean and lived in the country at the time so I knew what to expect, but foreigners and especially younger audiences might not. Back in 1989, there was a referendum to decide if Augusto Pinochet, Chile's dictator for the past 15 years, would stay on for another 8 or democratic elections would be held instead. The choices were "YES" for 8 more years of military dictatorship and "NO" for democratic elections to be held at the end of 1989. This film is a depiction of the political, social and creative aspects that shaped the ad campaign created by those who supported the option "NO" (hence the title of the film) the problems they faced in creating it and the memorable result achieved.
Of course, there were several other aspects that sealed Pinochet's fate as President besides a creative ad campaign, but this movie is a worthy effort to show how a country really came together and changed its destiny focusing on joy and creativity and trying to leave behind fear and anger. It's filmed video-style which really gives it an 80s look and feel; there are several real-life images and video clips which are a nice treat, because they show what the charged social atmosphere was really like back in those months. You don't need to be a Chilean to like this movie; the script and acting are top-notch and it's not a propagandistic film at all. I actually thought it was pretty objective considering this is really a polarizing subject matter in my country; the audience laughed several times and seemed to truly enjoy it. For film lovers in general, it's an intelligent piece of cinema; for History buffs an objective perspective on how things went down. For everybody else, a fun film to watch regardless. I recommend it hands down.
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