NoOriginal Title: No
Director: Pablo Larraín
Chile, USA | Spanish
Subtitles: Arabic and English
Pablo Larrain brilliantly ends his trilogy on Chile’s Pinochet regime that began with Tony Manero
(2008) and Post Mortem
(2010) with No
, arguably his best film to date.
According to the provisions of Chile’s 1980 constitution, a referendum on the regime was scheduled for October, 1988. The dictator’s ruthless regime had already embarrassed even his strongest supporters; under pressure from the international community, Pinochet was obliged to legalise political parties and political advertising.
The story is told from the perspective of René Saavedra, a successful young publicist, brilliantly
portrayed by Gael García Bernal, who agrees to work in his spare time for the “NO' campaign against Pinochet. With a neoliberal gaze completely alien to all political parties, Saavedra is able to successfully defy his country’s oppressors and shape the future of his country – all achieved with a series of 15-minute daily TV spots. Instead of centering the campaign on the pain suffered by the people under Pinochet, he puts the accent on the renaissance
of the country freed from dictatorship, employing cheerful jingles, colourful landscapes
and seductive images of happy families embodying the resistance. The campaign’s slogan is “La alegría ya viene
' (“Joy is coming').
With a mix of TV footage from the ’80s and a pair of rebuilt U-Matic video cameras, Larrain skilfully weaves fiction with actual footage, fully immersing the audience in the era and in the excitement of the campaign. No
not only represents an important moment in Chilean history, it is also a powerful call to arms, one filled with energy and optimism, against all dictatorships.