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In 1988, Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet, due to international pressure, is forced to call a plebiscite on his presidency. The country will vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to Pinochet extending his rule for another eight years. Opposition leaders for the ‘No’ vote persuade a brash young advertising executive, Rene Saavedra, to spearhead their campaign. Against all odds, with scant resources and while under scrutiny by the despot’s minions, Saavedra and his team devise an audacious plan to win the election and set Chile free.

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Release : 2012
Rating : 7.4
Studio : Canana Films,  Participant Media,  Fabula, 
Crew : Art Direction,  Set Decoration, 
Cast : Gael García Bernal Luis Gnecco Sergio Hernández Antonia Zegers Alfredo Castro
Genre : Drama History

Cast List



This Movie Can Only Be Described With One Word.


Let's be realistic.


Clever, believable, and super fun to watch. It totally has replay value.


This is a must-see and one of the best documentaries - and films - of this year.


This is a well-made, stylistically heavy, slightly whimsical view of the the 1988 plebiscite to unseat Pinochet as Chile's autocratic military ruler. The first thing to say is that as a period piece, the late 80's are rendered in all their grainy, blotchy glory using what I can only assume is technology from that time, and while at times this can be a bit off-putting (the wobbly camera work is reminiscent of "found footage" type movies) eventually it becomes just part of the furniture.It is also a satirical look at the advertising industry, not just in Chile, but in general. One of the leading lights of the industry in Chile is Gael Garcia Bernal's character who is approached to run the No campaign. He applies all of his cynical abilities in selling "No" as a product to the undecided or the non-voters, much to the disgust of those who have suffered brutally at the hands of Pinochet's regime. He is also pitched against the owner of the advertising agency he works for who decides to work for the Yes campaign.We get a very narrow view of the plebiscite here. There's no real look at how all of the political parties (12 or so) that are against Pinochet all managed to unite for the single cause. The focus is very much on the campaign itself and the pressure put on the campaigners by the Government and the Yes side. The scenes of the protests and riots are brilliantly shot, mixing old newsreel with staged shots.There are plenty of funny moments too, particularly when they are first trying to decide on a theme for the No campaign and the ideas they are coming up with are laughable.Well worth a look.


This film is about the phenomenal TV campaign that changed history in Chile."No" tells a story where mentality of the masses is changed by a one month TV campaign. From fear and learned helplessness, the jolly campaign awakens the Chileans and rewrites their brainwashed brain. Though the unconventional campaign is met with much scepticism and resistance, Rene's perseverance is paid off. Never has a NO been so satisfactory.One thing that struck me about the film is the use of cheap lens, with much distortion and fringing of light. This may reflect the poor state of affairs in Chile, or to make archive footage blend well with new footage."No" is a fun history lesson on a piece of miraculous history.

Lee Eisenberg

Pablo Larraín's "No" is about Chile's 1988 referendum on Augusto Pinochet's rule, and the advertising executive behind the campaign to oust the despot. Filmed documentary-style to give a feeling of realism, we see how both the Yes and No campaigns crafted and carried out their strategies. One might say that this particular election marked the moment when political campaigns shifted from discussions of issues and to marketing. Another contributing factor to Pinochet's defeat was the grassroots organizing among Chile's population. Nonetheless, the ouster of the brutal dictator was one of the greatest achievements in Chile's history. Everyone should see this movie.

Nolan Dalla

"No" suffers from trying to be, and succeeding at, being far too realistic.As preposterous as this criticism sounds, a promising political drama based on true events surrounding a 1988 election campaign in Chile abandons all the fundamentals of modern movie making. There's no soundtrack. There's no witty dialog. There are no special effects. The performances aren't particularly memorable. As a result, a potentially riveting political thriller drags badly in this poorly-scripted, abysmally-shot re-enactment which debuted last year in Chile. It's now finally making rounds in American movie theaters, its longevity based on being nominated earlier this year for an Oscar in the Best Foreign-Language film category."No" has the sophomoric look and feel of a film school project shot with a couple of Beta cams. That's because director Pablo Larrain curiously decided to shoot his entire movie with the same outdated videotape stock used by actual television news crews during the 1980's, when this film takes place. He presumably did this to add the look of realism. Borrowing a visual device that worked masterfully when Steven Spielberg employed World War II-era Bell and Howell movie cameras to film the famous Normandy Beach scenes in Saving Private Ryan (1998), the same technique might have proved a powerful cinematic accompaniment had it been used selectively. Instead, the entire movie is shot in a grainy film texture which not only becomes annoying, but quite distracting after the first few scenes when we realize this is the way the entire will be. It becomes like trying to watch a movie through a dirty window pane.This is unfortunate because "No" had great potential. The movie is all about the 1988 political referendum on the brutal dictatorship of Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet. One of the most despised political leaders in Latin American history, Pinochet ruled the South American nation of Chile with an iron fist between 1973 and 1988. However, his dictatorship faced growing international pressure to hold free elections, and so a national referendum was called in 1988 to vote on the question if Pinochet should be allowed to stay in power.The premise sounds rather simple. But after the military junta's 15 years of disappearances, torture, intimidation, and media control, those Chileans brave enough to work on the "No" campaign took enormous risks, both professionally and personally. What if they worked against Pinochet and then lost the election? What would then be their fate? Would they ever work again? Would they eventually be arrested? Could they end up as political prisoners? "No," which gets its name from the actual anti-Pinochet campaign, recounts the atmosphere of fear those brave enough to oppose the dictator had to endure during the 27-day campaign. Given the overwhelming odds stacked against them, no one -- not even the movement's most committed followers -- gave the "No" campaign a chance.But if that was the case, we wouldn't be watching a movie about these events some 25 years later.That's where the star of "No" comes in. Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal plays a young hotshot advertising wizard hired by the anti-Pinochet ("No") movement to orchestrate its media campaign. The very real issue of how to run a national campaign amidst this culture of fear gets compounded by a deep divide within the camp between those who want to use this rare opportunity to showcase Pinochet's horrific human rights abuses versus the younger pragmatists who view the selling of a candidate about the same as marketing beer or tires.Given the extraordinary circumstances of this unique moment in history and all the subplots of running an underdog campaign fraught with danger, one can immediately see similarities to some of movie history's best political thrillers -- including The Candidate (1972), All the President's Men (1976), Primary Colors (1998), and most recently -- Argo (2012). Had "No" employed a top-notch screenwriter and shot the movie in a more conventional manor (on standard film, for starters), it might have taken its place among the pantheon of great political dramas. Instead, a fascinating story gets lost in the abyss of a poorly contrived and under-budgeted mess.One final note: Without revealing any spoilers, "No" is probably a must see for political junkies if for no other reason than to watch this unlikely campaign unfold, and at times completely unravel before ultimately becoming a serious challenge to one of the most notorious political and military regimes in Latin American history. This is a fabulous story with some truly mesmerizing moments of triumph. However, the film fails to convey these remarkable real-life events in a manner worthy of those brave heroes who actually set out to achieve the impossible.

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