Revolution Will Not Be Televised, The

Just got back from a screening of The Revolution will not be Televised, a stunning documentary about the coup of democratically elected President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela a year ago. The filmmakers were doing a biopic on the leader and found themselves eyewitnesses to a overthrow of the people’s leader by the military – powered by the wealthy, oil-engorged upper class. Even more exctiting is that the newly appointed President permits the filmmakers to stay inside the palace to record history as it happens. Then, over 48 hours, as tens of thousands of people gather outside the palace to protest, the palace guards stage their own operation and take down the leaders of the coup – imprisoning them in the basement. Fantastic fantastic film. You have got to see it. It has not been picked up by any major studio (probably because it is critical and hints at CIA involvement in supporting the coup – Chavez wanted to make Venezuela’s oil exports a public resource for all to have enough to eat). But it is sure to be seen in DVD in a few months. This is the kind of stuff that makes me never want to write fiction again. When Chavez visits the captured coup leaders in the palace basement – the first thing he says is: ‘Your rights will be respected.’ The detailing of how he placed education in the country’s constitution as the basis for his campaign and victory is just amazing. Throughout the protesters are quoting and citing their constitutional rights over and over again and becoming passionate about politics. There people are starved into action – here we are gorged into submission.

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