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2004 Mini Reviews

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
(Chavez: Inside the Coup)
Directed by: Kim Bartley, Donnacha O'Briain
74 mins running time

The filmmakers of Revolution travelled to Venezuela seven months prior to the coup in order to create a bio-documentary about the controversial ruler's life. They were given a great deal of access to the leader, including interviews and footage from inside the palace. Fortunately the cameras were still on for the successful coup and they captured a great deal of the activity on film.

I am not familiar enough with the political situation in Venezuela to judge this film based on the facts, which are sketchy as is. I could tell that this film was slightly slanted towards Chavez. The filmmakers didn't portray him as the perfect president, but they didn't detail any of his flaws either. This leads me to believe that the film was slightly one-sided, and for that I can't entirely trust the filmmakers account of events. With that in mind, I will reserve making a political judgement based on this film, and I hope that nobody else does either.

Aside from the political motivations, this was an interesting documentary. The unlimited access to the events of the coup makes this film a treasure to watch. I thought the directors did an admirable job of mixed their own footage with stock footage, especially of the local media. To my surprise, they also generated a few laughs, which I thought reduced the tension of the situation, and making the film easier to watch in the process.

The film is worth catching on video, just for the inside picture of the events, but should not be taken seriously as a non-fiction documentary.

Score: 6/10