No: How Cheesy Commercials Brought Down a Brutal Dictator
After making two very disturbing films, Tony Manero and Post Mortem, about the dark times that fell on Chile after Augusto Pinochet assumed power with the CIA's assistance in 1973, Chilean director Pablo Larraín makes a film about the dictator's downfall that's practically a comedy, that the whole family can watch, that will make you feel all good inside. How did he do this? With a simple and satisfying setup: After years of war, murder, bloodshed, and disappearing people, the dictator is forced by the international community to allow his country-people to vote on whether or not he should stay in power. The year is 1988, and Pinochet doesn't doubt for a minute he is going to lose; the opposition, however, sees this as a great opportunity to bring to an end almost 15 years of madness. The opposition produced a 15-minute TV spot every night to make its case against the dictator.
Now here is where things get interesting: The opposition turns to an advertising exec (played by the global cinema star Gael García Bernal) to come up with an eye-catching campaign for the spot. Here's where things get funny: The ad exec doesn't think the campaign should be heavy or bleak or angry but should be as cheerful as the ads he makes for soda pop and microwave ovens. In short, the ad campaign should be positive and the opposition should say "No" to the dictator with a smile on its face, with people dancing to bad 1980s pop, and with women working out at the gym in Jane Fonda–like outfits. This revolution will be advertised.