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.


Pablo Larraín


Gael García Bernal
as René Saaverdra
Alfredo Castro
as Lucho Guzmán
Luis Gnecco
as Urrutia
Antonia Zegers
as Verónica
Jaime Vadell
as Minister Fernández

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gbacquet 7 /10

Excellent film. You won't be disappointed.

First, let me start by saying that some knowledge of the events depicted in this film would come useful. I'm Chilean and lived in the country at the time so I knew what to expect, but foreigners and especially younger audiences might not. Back in 1989, there was a referendum to decide if Augusto Pinochet, Chile's dictator for the past 15 years, would stay on for another 8 or democratic elections would be held instead. The choices were "YES" for 8 more years of military dictatorship and "NO" for democratic elections to be held at the end of 1989. This film is a depiction of the political, social and creative aspects that shaped the ad campaign created by those who supported the option "NO" (hence the title of the film) the problems they faced in creating it and the memorable result achieved.

Of course, there were several other aspects that sealed Pinochet's fate as President besides a creative ad campaign, but this movie is a worthy effort to show how a country really came together and changed its destiny focusing on joy and creativity and trying to leave behind fear and anger. It's filmed video-style which really gives it an 80s look and feel; there are several real-life images and video clips which are a nice treat, because they show what the charged social atmosphere was really like back in those months. You don't need to be a Chilean to like this movie; the script and acting are top-notch and it's not a propagandistic film at all. I actually thought it was pretty objective considering this is really a polarizing subject matter in my country; the audience laughed several times and seemed to truly enjoy it. For film lovers in general, it's an intelligent piece of cinema; for History buffs an objective perspective on how things went down. For everybody else, a fun film to watch regardless. I recommend it hands down.

Reviewed by Pencho15 9 /10

No more Pinochet

Starring Mexican actor Gael García Bernal, No is the movie submitted by Chile to the 2012 academy awards. The movie tells us about one moment in Chile history when dictator Pinochet organized a referendum trying to legitimize his government to the eyes of the world. However, against all odds, the political opposition manages to win the voting and that way democracy put an end to that nefarious period of Chilean history.

How did they managed to do that is the topic of the film in which the story is told through the main character, René Saavedra, an advertiser hired to organize the campaign of the No (no to Pinochet leading the country for another eight years) which gives its title to the film.

The film gives us the chance to get into one of the most important events in Chile contemporary history, but one that isn't very well known outside that country; I at least haven't heard about it until I saw the film. The first virtue about the film is that you don't need to know about this events to get into it, as long as you know Chile lived a long military dictatorship (which should be general knowledge) you won't have any problem getting into the plot.

No shows us the complications around the campaign, Saavedra only counts with 15 minutes each day to get his message to the people of Chile, and his works starts not with some commercials, but talking the opposition parties to agree to his idea of making some positive promos in order to help Chileans get over their fear of voting, instead of denouncing the crimes of the dictatorship now that they have a chance to do it. Besides that, all the government and media works for Pinochet, and they'll use everything in their possibilities to obstruct the opposition message.

No uses many archive images, maybe up to a quarter of the film is made from the original videos aired in the Chilean TV during the campaigns, this is very interesting since as foreigners we get to see what people in the country watched in their TV every night. The film does a great job combining this archive images with the work of the actors so at all time the film moves along quite well and it never feels like a documentary or a history lesson which could make some people bored; but it is still very interesting for anyone who (like me) loves history. Watching this archive images gives us some surprises, and while everything will undoubtedly say more to Chileans than to foreigners, you may still get some surprises, like discovering Hollywood actors like Chistopher Reeve, Richard Dreyfuss (in a good Spanish) or Jane Fonda giving support messages to the people of Chile.

This combination of archive videos and original film is made more effective by the cinematography. The director looked for a camera like the ones used and the end of the eighties to make his film, and he manages that all the film has the same definition which helps to blend it perfectly, also this gives the film a distinctive look that makes it visually different from any other current film.

The acting is good, with Gael García Bernal giving a good Chilean accent, without much dialog his characters evolves very well through the movie, I liked specially when he is working on other advertising besides the No campaign, he uses the same phrases while selling his job, but despite this remaining unchanged by the end of the film we notice how he earned a lot of respect and confidence with his winning No campaign.

One last good thing is that despite the fact that you know the ending from the first moment, the plot manages to give you some moments of tension, a proof that it has been very well developed.

Some things I didn't like is the sound, at some moments I had some difficulty hearing some dialogs, this technical fail is a shame. I also disliked some shots in which the sun is too bright obscuring everything else on screen, but this doesn't happen much.

At the end of the film you will be humming the catchy song of the campaign. Naturally this wasn't the only thing that forced Pinochet to leave the government and there is a lot more to learn about this moment of Chile history, but the campaign was important and the film offers a great introduction to the topic trough an original cinematographic work. Recommendable

Reviewed by Movie-Jay 8 /10

The Revolution WILL Be Televised!

What a captivating film this is. Gael Garcia Bernal is good as usual, an actor who just keeps getting better and better, in this movie that shows the campaign that ousted Pinochet from office from the p.o.v. of the ad guys who tailored each side's messages.

Good PR work that frames the debate and sets the narrative for the campaign wins political campaigns.

The movie is thoughtful, funny, absorbing. Quality all around. You don't need to know anything about Chile to get swept up by it, and if there are details you want to know, you can go read about it afterwards.

I especially liked that it looked like a documentary video and a time- capsule from that era. It seamlessly mixes stock footage with filmed stuff to give it a dated look.

See it.

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