In 1988, succumbing to international pressure, General Augusto Pinochet’s regime in Chile called for a national referendum on the proposal to extend the dictator’s presidency a further eight years. The ballot presented two choices: Yes (extend Pinochet’s rule) or No (no more Pinochet). Much of the population believed that the referendum would be rigged, and was merely a front to placate the international community. There was also the problem for many that participating in the referendum would legitimize it. But many in the opposition did not want to pass up this opportunity to peacefully overthrow Pinochet’s near two-decade reign. Completing his trilogy on the Pinochet years begun with Tony Manero and Post Mortem, with No director Pablo Larraín chronicles the fall of the dictatorship, toppled by its own cynical democratic farce that unwittingly released the real democratic yearnings it had managed to suppress for so many years.
Recruited by the “No” side to design their campaign strategy and make use of their designated fifteen minutes per day of airtime, savvy adman René Saavedra realizes that not only do they have to convince voters to vote “No” – they also have to convince the disparate, isolated segments of the population to go to the polls in the first place…
Fabula Producciones (Juan de Dios Larraín)
Participant Media (Daniel Dreifuss)
Gael García Bernal