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Movie Review: Our Brand is Crisis

Alternate Title: Political Guns for Hire

Story: Political junkie alert! A new documentary by Rachel Boynton will fill the void you might be feeling these days.

This is a smart, fast-paced, educational, entertaining, revealing look at a little known blip of the political spectrum. What happens to the Democrats when they have been shut out of the political process in this country? Why, we go abroad to spread their market (or marketing) based brand of politics to other countries.

This film follows the consultancy firm GCS (Greenberg, Carville and Shrum - yes, that James Carville) as they are hired by 'Goni' Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada during the 2002 election for President of Bolivia. Goni had been President from 1993 to 1997 but not re-elected because he privatized Bolivia's precious natural resources and the people got pissed.

We sit mesmerized as we watch GCS spin the politics of America onto this struggling nation where 70% of its people live below of poverty line. A detached, arrogant Goni is spun into a redemptive candidate while the GCS folk go negative against his opposition. They use focus groups, negative ads, innuendo (you know the drill) to change the message and the image.

Boynton cleverly opens the film seven months after the election and works backwards to show us what happened to Goni, the consulting group, the other candidates and of course the real victims, the Bolivian people.

For more info and a quick course on South American politics, Goni and Bolivia go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzalo_Sánchez_de_Lozada

Acting: There is no acting - it is a documentary. However, some of these GCS consultants were putting it on pretty think.

Predilection: I am a political junkie and I love documentaries.

Blatant Product Placement: Globalization

Theater Audience: A handful of people who looked like they just walked off a picket line.

Sappy Factor: 0

Drift Factor: No drifting from me.

Predictability Level: If you are aware of Bolivian politics there won't be any surprises.

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Big Screen or Rental: For the political junkies out there you can rent many films that sing your song (should your politics lean left as mine). Try: The Fog of War, Bush's Brain, The Hunting of the Presidency, Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election, Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War, The War Room, Bowling For Columbine and the Oscar winning Fahrenheit 9/11.

Length: 90 minutes