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Our Brand Is Crisis 2005 NR CC

(12) IMDb 7.2/10

For decades, U.S. strategists-for-hire have been quietly molding the opinions of voters and the messages of candidates in elections from the Middle East to the South American jungle.

Mauricio Balcazar, James Carville
1 hour, 28 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Rachel Boynton
Starring Mauricio Balcazar, James Carville
Supporting actors Tad Devine, Stanley Greenberg, Carlos D. Mesa Gisbert, Carlos Mesa, Carlos Morales, Evo Morales, Henry Oporto, Manuel Rocha, Jeremy Rosner, Robert Shrum, Tal Silberstein, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, Manfred Reyes Villa, Adam Webber
Studio Entertainment One
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary traces the re-election campaign of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (Goni), which was largely run by paid, American political consultants. Their challenge: to get their candidate re-elected even though as president his highly unpopular free-market policies had done nothing to alleviate the extreme poverty and unemployment the country was facing, and even though he was perceived as an arrogant, elitist, fair-skinned, American-raised "gringo" who was out of touch with the poor, indigenous majority of Bolivia.

Despite all these obstacles, we see how the consultants were able to use polls, focus groups, negative attack campaigns and advertisements to successfully market their candidate (Noam Chomsky always talks about how political campaigns are like selling toothpaste; here we see a perfect example). They also benefited from a political system in which a candidate could win with a plurality of the vote: the vote ended up being divided between three main candidates, allowing Goni to win with only 22% of the popular vote.

However, as Goni continued to implement unpopular policies even after the election, the Bolivian people took to the streets en masse to demand his ouster. Goni fled to the U.S., where he now resides, while his vice president took over until the next election in which the indigenous, left-wing candidate Evo Morales came to power with an overwhelming majority of the vote.

What I found most amazing was how little the paid, American political consultants knew about the policies that "their" candidate was implementing and how adversely they were affecting the people.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 27, 2008
Format: DVD
While I consider myself better informed than average on Central and South American politics, I didn't know that much about the elections of the early 2000s in Bolivia. I have asserted that the leftward swing there of the last few years was because of the way we Yanks have treated those countries. So true.

But I realized while watching this gem that the issue addressed by the film is as much about us as it is about those other countries!

As others have pointed out, Greenberg, Carville and Schrum, a well-known Washington political consulting (classy way of saying PR) firm was hired by Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada--aka Goni--to get him elected president of Bolivia. He'd been brought up in the United States--suburban Washington, DC, while his father was exiled. He'd been president of Bolivia for a term in the 1990s, had, according to the film, set up some social programs, e.g., Social Security, and had provided some reforms to education. But he had also "capitalized." That term wasn't really defined until toward the end of the film when I believe the word used was "privatized."

Well, GCS did what such a consultant does here in the US: They had their pollsters following Bolivian trends, gave one-liners and effective rhetoric to Goni, set up countless "focus groups," instituted negative campaigning, e.g., made Goni's opponents look like budding fascists, or out of touch with reality--something that's become commonplace here in the US. In short, they avoided facing any issues, those which make democracy work--again, something of which many in the US know pathetically little.

Indeed, Goni's opponents were far more populist than Goni was.
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Format: DVD
Koch Lorber Films and Films Transit International present - Our Brand Is Crisis (2005) (87 mins/Color) - Director Rachel Boynton features an astounding look through this documentary at one of their campaigns and its dramatic aftermath ... The filmmaker follows a crack team of Democratic political consultants, including James Carville, Tad Devine and Jeremy Rosner as they strategize for a struggling presidential candidate in Bolivia ... behind the turbulent re-election campaign of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada ("Goni") --- In a country facing a calamitous economic crisis, Goni - a wealthy businessman who privatized Bolivia's economy and created social security (when he was president in the mid-`90s) - isn't the popular candidate ... here is a shocking example of how U.S. marketing strategiest can affect the spreading of "our brand of democracy" overseas --- at times this can be absurdly funny, sometimes horrifying, frequently revelatory documentary that clearly ventures into an important new territory --- as we witness U.S. strategists for hire influencing the opinions of voters in elections around the world --- Boynton's directorial debut, was shown at New Directors/New Films, presented by the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 2005 --- winner of International Documentary Assoc. "Best Documentary Feature" and winner of Full Frame Documentary Festival "Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award" --- a food for thought film as we're in for high stakes for re-election and strategy on this political campaign heading on the campaign trail, at times very gritty and matter of fact ... "OUR BRAND IS CRISIS".


1. Commentary with Director Rachel Boynton

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