A Special Presentation at the 2012 Toronto
International Film Festival®, this gripping historical
drama from director Pablo Larraín stars
Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries,
Bad Education) as a savvy young ad exec in
1988 Chile who is recruited to craft the political
opposition’s publicity campaign when the
rule of dictator Augusto Pinochet is put to a
In 1988, succumbing to international pressure,
Pinochet’s regime called for a national
referendum on the proposal to extend the
dictator’s presidency a further eight years.
The ballot presented two choices: Yes (extend
Pinochet’s rule) or No (no more Pinochet).
Much of the population believed that the referendum
would be rigged, and was merely a
front to placate the international community.
There was also the problem for many that
participating in the referendum would seem
to legitimize it. But many in the opposition
did not want to pass up this opportunity to
peacefully overthrow Pinochet’s near twodecade
Recruited by the “No” side to design their
campaign strategy and make use of their designated
fifteen minutes per day of airtime,
savvy adman René Saavedra (Bernal) realizes
that not only does his team have to convince
voters to vote “No” — they also have to convince
the disparate, isolated segments of the
population to go to the polls in the first place.
Instinctively understanding that the campaign
cannot focus on the pain and suffering
the Pinochet regime has caused during its fifteen years in power, Saavedra instead opts
for images of happiness and joy, promoting
the image of a “new Chile,” complete with a
rainbow logo. Heading the “Yes” campaign
is Saavedra’s boss, Lucho Guzmán (Alfredo
Castro), who goes so far as to offer Saavedra a
partnership if he gives up the “No” campaign.
As the “No” campaign begins to gain ground,
the tension begins to mount between the
men as Saavedra and those in the opposition
begin to receive death threats.
Completing his trilogy on the Pinochet
years begun with Tony Manero and Post
Mortem, with No director Pablo Larraín
chronicles the fall of the dictatorship, toppled
by its own cynical democratic farce that
unwittingly released the real democratic
yearnings it had managed to suppress for
so many years. Engaging, suspenseful and
breathlessly paced, No is both a tense political
thriller and a vibrant document of Chile’s
triumphal return to democracy.
"Part Mad Men in stonewashed denim, part
south-of-the-border Paddy Chayefsky, it’s an
irresistible story that provides ample material
for Larraín’s own deadpan satirical eye."
""No" signals a huge spurt in the filmmaker's growth." - Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"A decisive transitional chapter in Chilean history yields an absorbing
account of one country's unlikely route from oppression to democracy." - David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
Director: Pablo Larraín
Cast: Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro
Runtime: 117 minutes
Language: Spanish (English subtitles)
Distributor: Mongrel Media
ON NR /
BC NR /
AB NR /
SK NR /
MB NR /
QC NR /
This film has no active screening dates.