Watch South of the Border putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 7.1/10 from votes
||Release: 3 June 2010 (Argentina) /
||Stars: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Evo Morales, Fernando Lugo, Hugo Chávez, Lula, Néstor Kirchner, Rafael Correa, Raúl Castro, Tariq Ali
||Synopsis: There's a revolution underway in South America, but most of the world doesn't know it. Oliver Stone sets out on a road trip across five countries to explore the social and political movements as well as the mainstream media's misperception of South America while interviewing seven of its elected presidents. In casual conversations with Presidents Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Lula da Silva (Brazil), Cristina Kirchner (Argentina), as well as her husband and ex-President Nestor Kirchner, Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), and Raul Castro (Cuba), Stone gains unprecedented access and sheds new light upon the exciting transformations in the region. Written by Cinema Libre Studio
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Latin American politics has moved markedly leftward in recent years.
The shift might have extended as far north as Mexico, had Andrés Manuel
López Obrador not been defeated in a much-contested election in 2006. A
Wikipedia "History of South America" gives the following list of left
wing South American presidents by date of election: Hugo Chávez of
Venezuela (1998), Ricardo Lagos and later Michelle Bachelet of Chile
(1999; 2006), Luís Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil (2002) and Lucio
Gutiérrez and Rafael Correa of Ecuador (2002; 2006), Néstor Kirchner of
Argentina, succeeded by his wife Cristina (2003 and 2007), Tabaré
Vázquez and José Mujica of Uruguay (2004 and 2008), Evo Morales of
Bolivia (2005), and Fernando Lugo of Paraguay (2008). (The remaining
strong right-wing government in the region is Colombia, coincidentally
the closest US ally there.)
This group isn't monolithic. Some are populist and international in
focus, like the most visible figure, Chávez; others, like Lula and the
Kirchners, are more focused on local problems. As the Wikipedia article
points out, in 2008 the Union of South American Nations was formed,
aiming to function like the European Union; it is a decisive signal of
the end of US hegemony in the region. The days may be over when the CIA
can conduct a boldfaced coup like the ouster and killing of Salvador
Allende in Chile September 11, 1973, replacing him with a right-wing
leader, Augusto Pinochet, friendly to the US and to business interests.
As Wikipedia points out, "In the 1960s and 1970s, the governments of
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay were overthrown or displaced by
U.S.-aligned military dictatorships." And then of course there is the
scandal of Iran-Contra during the Reagan era of the Eighties, symbolic
of the US' self-interested anti-progressive role in various conflicts,
such as those of Nicaragua and El Salvador.
One reason for the shift to the left and the rise of more
democratically elected governments is the economic problems brought
about by neoliberal, i.e., market-based policies that benefited the
rich nations and further impoverished the South. The presence of former
bishop Fernando Lugo may attest to the political influence of
"Liberation Theology" in Latin America since the Fifties and Sixties,
an activist philosophy linking Catholic faith with the struggle for the
rights of the poor and dispossessed.
North Americans don't know a lot about these developments, and it's
hard to be informed about them from a US perspective, especially if one
does not know Spanish. US government policy has long favored any
malleable, pro-American regime, and views favorable to other regimes
are hard to find on the English-language Web or mainstream media. The
new left-leaning group of Latin American governments is despised in
Washington circles precisely because its members are, if not strongly
at odds with the US, like Cuba or Venezuela, no longer willing to bow
to the major US-dominated economic forces represented by the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It is easy to find
criticisms of the new leaders, especially of Hugo Chávez, on the
Into this scene comes Oliver Stone's new documentary, 'South of the
Border,' which focuses on Chávez, Morales, and several others; he does
not interview all of the dozen leaders listed above. To cover them all,
with their individual national issues, would be a daunting task for an
85-minute film. It is a mixed blessing to have Stone's film available
to US audiences. Predictably, it has been ruthlessly attacked by the
American press and reviewers. Unfortunately, Stone is an easy mark.
Much of his information is valid. But in the voice-over narration, he
repeatedly mispronounced Chávez as "Chavéz": accents do matter in
Spanish names, and even George Bush got this one right. Stone has only
one talking head, his political adviser on the film Tariq Ali, a London
born leftist with a recent book on this subject who has a tendency to
sound strident and dogmatic. Stone makes elementary errors, like saying
they are flying over the Andes when for the most part they are not. He
is entirely too chummy with the leaders, congratulating them, shaking
their hands, and hugging them on camera in a manner that is not only a
revelation of bias but vaguely condescending.
There is also the problem of proportion. In the brief film Stone
devotes at least twenty minutes to the story of Chávez's rise and the
debates over coverage of the 2002 coup time that might better have
been spent presenting new material about the other leaders, about whom
we know less.
The Chávez coup has already been covered elsewhere in Bartley and
O'Briain's 'Revolution Will Not Be Televised' (2003). The virulent
response I received from the anti-Chávez camp in Caracas from my review
on IMDb at that time showed how extreme the polarization is. This camp
is particularly eager to propagandize against Bartley and O'Brian
because their film is quite convincing. Stone has not done better.
South America is rife with class conflict, and wealth remains in the
hands of the few, while many are impoverished. The advantage of Chávez,
Morales, and the others is that the poor are the vast majority. The
opposition may resemble the enemies of the Egyptian leader and man of
the people, Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom in my view Chávez resembles. Both
carried out many reforms benefiting the people, sought to be world
leaders dominating neighboring nations, and viewed favorably the idea
of ruling for life.
One would like to know more about how the other new left leaders differ
from Chávez, and more about all their specific accomplishments and
specific criticisms of them. Stone's coverage of the various countries
(he misses several) does not involve anonymous investigation, only
showpiece sessions with the leaders before an audience.
Oliver Stone should be applauded for making 'South of the Border,' and
for Americans interested in Latin American politics it's a must-see.
But one wishes Stone had made a film of more depth and thoroughness.
Tags for South of the Border Full Movie
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
, Evo Morales
, Fernando Lugo
, Hugo Chávez
, Néstor Kirchner
, Rafael Correa
, Raúl Castro
, Tariq Ali
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