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Cocalero (2007)

Evo Morales , Alejandro Landes  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Evo Morales
  • Directors: Alejandro Landes
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • DVD Release Date: December 11, 2007
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WS6Y9Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,842 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Born out of the U.S. war on drugs, an Aymara Indian nemed Evo Morales - backed by a troop of coca leaf farners - travels through the Andes and Amazon in jeans and sneakers, leading a historic bid to become Bolivia's first Indiginous president. The filmmakers, granted astonishing up close and personal access to Evo, capture the intimate moments of this controversial figure and his triumphant rise to power. A story of geopolitics, people's movements, indiginous culture, and one man's impressive determination, Cocalero is a "luminous portrait of working people in a rare triumph against U.S. imperialism." (Prairie Miller, WBAI Radio)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and interesting December 9, 2007
This film provides an opportunity to witness the road to the presidency of an unlikley candidate in Bolivia. The filmmaker's access to Evo Morales and some of his supporters and allies provides a window into a political process that is both organic and extremely organized and hierchal. The power of community organization seems to outshine education, money, even ideology. The film also shows us the lives of women and men who live off of coca production, whose business has become more profitable as a result of the US crackdown on cocaine production. This relative profitability is also a powerful political tool to rally farmers behind this canditate. The complexities are somewhat burried in the story, but the perspective is sufficiently fresh to keep you watching and thinking.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Move over War Room, James Carville and Bill Clinton, and make way for Cocalero, a new political documentary featuring highlights of the triumphant Presidential campaign of Evo Morales, a Bolivian Indian and leader of Andean coca growers' union.

The film sets out to do two things: first, to highlight Morale's campaign and portray him in the most charming way possible, and, secondly, to show the plight and dignity of the Andean Indians whose crusade against coca eradication has made them a cause célèbre among anti-American activists throughout the world- including the U.S. It succeeds on both levels even as it avoids an enlightening, non-partisan look at the consequences and rationales behind the anti-coca campaign.

The makers of Cocalero were given terrific access to Morales and you can't help but come away liking him. You see Morales campaigning down bustling city streets, stumping for votes in dirt-poor native farming communities, gamely spinning gotcha journos on television, and waxing eloquently from the podium before throngs of supporters. All the while, you're struck by his low-keyed personality. This is not the kind of populist leader we've come to expect. Morales is certainly charming and possesses a great sense of humor, but his manner is quite often underscored, and, at times reserved. He bears almost no resemblance to his bombastic, ideological partners Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

In addition to Morales, the filmmakers spend quite a bit of time with Leonilda Zurita, a rural candidate for Senate living in a thatched roofed shelter with no walls and no running water. At one point, Zurita leads fellow members of the women's coca union in chants: "Viva Comrade Evo, Viva the coca leaf, death to the Yankees.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautifully shot, thought-provoking documentary June 4, 2009
I must say, as a supporter of genuine free-market ideology, I expected this film to be ridden with socialist propaganda.

Instead, I got a neutral (about as neutral as a filmmamker covering a campaign could get) look at the rise of leftist leader in one of the poorest countries in South America.

This film is a starting point to stimulate the interest of anyone who scratches their head and wonders what the shift to the left in Latin America is partly about, and why it happens.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real democracy the US could learn from. January 27, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
While the people of the US corporate state often claim to live in the world's leading democracy, - despite the common knowledge that we have the best democracy money can buy - "Cocaleros" shows that other people in the world know a few things about democracy themselves. With little money, but through ingenious organizing, the indigenous majority of Bolivia was able to elect a person who represented their interests, and would work to protect their coca growing traditions and distribute the wealth of the country more fairly. All these are radical ideas in the US, as we wage a global war against coca growing Plan Colombia: Cashing in on the Drug War Failure and concentrate wealth towards the upper classes The Global Class War: How America's Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future - and What It Will Take to Win It Back. Nevertheless, Bolivians retain many of their communities and a sense of solidarity that has made democracy more of a reality than a catch-phrase. "Cocaleros" simply follows Evo Morales and his supporters as they do the mundane things of preparing for an election - media appearances, handing out flyers, learning about the ballots and so forth. While the popular movement for Evo grew, there were US political advisors who were working to get the establishment candidate elected. That issue is covered in the film Our Brand Is Crisis which features James Carville as he devises media strategies to frighten people into voting against Morales. Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but ultimately frustrating documentary June 23, 2011
This is an important documentary and historical document, since it has extraordinary footage of Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia. The film follows Evo during the presidential campaign and seems to truly have unlimited access to him and his followers. However, the film is hampered by unnecessarily "artistic" camerawork and lack of narration.

I watched this documentary without much background information on Morales and was mainly interested in learning more. Although I learned some, I feel that if there had been more background given, I would have learned a lot more than I did.

I especially felt that the lack of context and narration was simply wrong-headed when they showed footage of what seems to be a massacre of coca workers. Why not explain what was happening? I think that people that already know a great deal about Morales and Bolivia will find this documentary fascinating, but that those who are just looking to learn more are likely to be a bit frustrated, as I was.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!
This documentary captures the dignity of a man, a nation, and its people. The unity, pride and advancement of Bolivia comes alive to the viewer by way of everyday people and a... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Teardrop 440
5.0 out of 5 stars Cocalero
We needed this for a Spanish class and found it very informative. I came away with a feeling like I was really there. The producer really knows what he is doing. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Homeschool Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars An important historical movie
I have lived in Bolivia for the last 9 years. This is a good educational movie about the way the poor people there really live.
Published on August 21, 2009 by Katherine S. Twilley
5.0 out of 5 stars great video!
This is a wonderful documentary that follows The first Bolivian indigenuous President. He comes from such a humble background and is very likeable. A very well done video!
Published on March 1, 2009 by F. Gehrig
4.0 out of 5 stars Presidente Evo Morales, ¡Presente!
This is a documentary recorded with a hand held camcorder and the takes are necessarily shaky, I advise the viewer to take some Dramamine 20-30 minutes before viewing. Read more
Published on October 9, 2008 by Javier Hernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining, Fascinating, Fun Ride.
In 2005 Evo Morales made history by becoming Bolivia's first ever indigenous president nearly 500 years after the Spanish Conquest. Read more
Published on February 1, 2008 by Robert Blake
3.0 out of 5 stars Evo's Campaign
Today, many Americans are excited about the campaigns of Rodham Clinton, Obama, and Richardson given their historic "firsts. Read more
Published on December 10, 2007 by Jeffery Mingo
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