The Chilean film NO is based on a true story. In 1988, Augusto Pinochet, was forced to ask the public whether his dictatorship should continue or not. The result, perhaps surprisingly, was not given.
René Saavedra, a young, media smart advertising man, is chosen to lead the NO campaign. At first he frustrates his colleagues by stubbornly attending more to the form and the aesthetics of the campaign than to its content. Soon, however, the ball begins to roll their way, and the rest (as they say) is history...
Even though the good guys win in the end, this film did not make me more in favour of allowing political commercials in Norway. I am not worried that colourful posters and catchy songs will become more important than political debates. (Debates isn't necessarily the best medium for politics anyway.) Treating political questions, democracy versus dictatorship, say, as a choice between different lifestyles -- "Where do you (wish to) belong, with the hip and fresh, or with the old and grey?" -- just seems like a disrespectful approach to politics. At worst it is a way of avoiding political discussions entirely.
This is not intended as a critique of the film, though. NO is undoubtedly a nice film, with an interesting story told in a compelling way. It gives good impression of just how tied up today's politics is with the media and the PR industries.The acting is good, and the colours, the clothes and the hairstyles are all spot on. The director even used a typical nineteen-eighties' camera in order to make the film look vintage. At times this made it hard to tell historical footage from the new and original. Some reviewers have found that annoying, but I did not. I enjoyed it.