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
Many active contributors to the "No" campaign had cameos as themselves for the movie. One of the most prominent ones was Patricio Aylwin, who would later become Chile's first democratically elect president after Pinochet lost the referendum. See more »
Although I found the subject matter exciting, the film was a disappointment.
"No" is a film that was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Perhaps I am wrong, but I wonder if most of this nomination is because of the subject matter, as the peaceful ouster of Pinochet was a wonderful things--and few would disagree with this. However, as for the movie itself, I was shocked how uninteresting it was, as the film lacked energy and, more importantly, emotion. This is really surprising because you'd expect a lot of tears and a lot of anger, as the Pinochet regime was responsible for many atrocities and human rights violations--and you'd THINK this would come through in the film. Instead, much of the film, especially the first half, was plodding and bereft of feeling. Where is the anger?!?! Fortunately, the film did get better in the second half when agents of Pinochet tried to intimidate the opposition...but still I expected so much more.
Overall, this film is mildly interesting but should have been a lot better. For a better look at the Pinochet administration, try watching the three "Battle of Chile" films. Additionally, for a better film that is critical of repression in South America, try the Oscar-winning "The Official Story"--a film that has heart, emotion and is much harder-hitting in the way it addresses the fall of the Argentinian regime.
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