The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2002, Kim Bartley & Donnacha O Brian)
In April 2002, the democratically elected President of Venezuela, the world’s fourth largest exported of oil, was removed from office for approximately 4 days. Hugo Chavez had promised to redistribute the country’s oil wealth among the 80% of the population that lived in poverty. The 20% who had previously reaped the rewards from the oil industry didn’t like that, and neither did the U.S. government, who still deny any involvement in the coup.
Irish filmmakers Kim Bartley and Donnacha O Brian were in the process of filming a documentary on Chavez when the coup took place. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is a unique look at what the world didn’t see, and makes you question what your country really tells you. Or at least, it should.
Bartley and O Brian are obviously pro-Chavez, and any documentary is obviously going to skew towards a certain point of view, but the most interesting part of this film is not what Chavez has to say or the shots of him talking to the citizens (in fact, I think that if the coup had not happened, this would’ve been one dull documentary!), but what happens in the streets before, during, and after the provisional government took power and dissolved such institutions as the Supreme Court.
That the coup only lasted four days is a testament to the people of Venezuela, who in the face of international support for millionaire Pedro Carmona, swarmed the palace and refused to accept the coup. Bartley and O Brian managed to capture all of this on film, as well as the triumphant return of Chavez. This film, though certainly not objective, should be seen anyway by anyone who doubts the power of the people, or anyone who believes in it.
This may be a few weeks late, but what the hell, here’s what I see as some of the best movies and music released this past year – SJ
Top Ten Movies of 2003
2. Lost In Translation
3. Bend It Like Beckham
5. Mystic River
6. The Station Agent
8. Kill Bill vol. 1
9. Pirates of the Caribbean
10. Whale Rider
(and you know what makes me happy? 4 out of the 10 were written and directed by women!)
And Top Ten Albums:
1. OutKast: Speakerboxx/The Love Below
2. Rancid: Indestructible
3. Pink: Try This
4. White Stripes: Elephant
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Fever to Tell
6. Nick Cave: Nocturama
7. Anti-Flag: The Terror State
8. Distillers: Coral Fang
9. Dropkick Murphys: Blackout
10. Roger Miret & the Disasters: self-titled.