Synopsis & Film Details

Filmworks presents the Chilean political drama that The Toronto Globe and Mail calls “a cunning combination of high-stakes drama and media satire.” Chile’s Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, the movie stars Gael García Bernal as a young advertising executive who spearheads a campaign to free Chile from the rule of military dictator Augusto Pinochet. In 1988, due to international pressure, Pinochet is forced to call a plebiscite on his presidency. The country will vote YES or NO to Pinochet extending his rule for another eight years. Against all odds, with scant resources, and under scrutiny by the despot’s minions, the ad man and his team devise an audacious plan for the opposition to win the election and set Chile free. Based on the unpublished stage play El Plebiscito, written by Antonio Skármeta. In Spanish, with English subtitles.

Discussion Circle
After the 5:30 show, join Fresno State professor Dr. William Skuban to talk about the film. Dr. Skuban, who holds a Ph.D. in Latin American history from UC Davis, chairs the Department of History, where he specializes in Chilean and Peruvian history. He wrote the book Lines in Sand: Nationalism and Identity on the Peruvian-Chilean Frontier, as well as various articles on nationalism, international relations, and nation-state formations. Discussion moderated by Filmworks board member Mary Husain.

Filmworks thanks K-Jewel 99.3 FM, The Fresno Bee, Vida en el Valle, and Stella Artois for their support.

Critic Reviews

“The film is a mesmerizing, realistic and often hilarious look at the politics of power and the power of ideas, ultimately something closer to TV’s House of Cards than to Mad Men. (Do yourself a favour and don’t Google the plebiscite’s real-life outcome before you see the movie.)”

— Peter Howell, Toronto Star


““No” is a picture that perches precariously on the cusp of a paradox. The paradox is bound up in the title. The ultimate signifier of negativity, in this case, denotes an event of heroic positivity.”

— Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times


“García Bernal underplays the script’s low-key humor to good effect, shifts smoothly to dramatic urgency as needed, and sketches an assured character study of a man gradually engaging in a cause.”

— Colin Covert,
Minneapolis Star Tribune