Our Brand Is Crisis

on March 01, 2006 by Tim Cogshell
Apparently, American political strategists have been at work shaping political campaigns for candidates of all political persuasions around the world for decades. "Our Brand is Crisis" follows one such endeavor, as the political consultancy of Greenberg Carville and Shrum (GCS) -- whose principal figure is the noted strategist James Carville, the mastermind behind the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, as well as elections in Israel, India, Korea, South Africa, Ireland and the UK -- devises a campaign to reelect the unpopular president of Bolivia, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (aka "Goni"). History tells us that Goni wins the election on the strength of the strategies devised by GCS.

This insightful if not altogether objective documentary not only tells us how they won, it shows us the actual results of Goni's reelection. There was unrest; the government reacted through a show of force; people died. Note that the third-ranking opposition candidate to Goni during this 2002 campaign was current Bolivian president Evo Morales, a popular socialist whom the GCS team considered marginal. Today, along with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Morales is at the forefront of a political revolution that is sweeping across South America, bringing a brand of socialist democracy that no political strategist anywhere saw coming. As Carville says in his quintessentially homey manner, "...oh well." Featuring Jeremy Rosner, Stan Greenberg, Tad Devine, Tal Silberstein, James Carville, Amy Webber, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, Carlos Mesa, Mauricio Balcazar, Manfred Reyes Villa and Evo Morales. Directed and produced by Rachel Boynton. A Koch Lorber release. Political documentary. Unrated. Running time: 87 min.

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