Wednesday, August 8, 2012

41. War on Democracy (2007) *

War on democracy (2007) is a documentary on the relationship between the United States and many countries in Central and South America. John Pilger interviews Venezuela's controversial leader, Hugo Chavez, and travels around countries including, Bolivia and Chile, illustrating how US foreign policy has resulted in oppression and in some cases crimes against humanity.  In Chile, for example, the US supported General Pinochet, who has since been indicted for crimes against humanity.  In other circumstances, the US (in particular Nixon, Reagan, George Bush) have pushed policies solely for their own economic benefit.  Pilger argues that despite US imperialism people power in the region will win.  

The documentary reminded me of some of Noam Chomsky's work.  By covering a whole region in 96 minutes there were nuances that Pilger overlooked.   Chavez may represent an alternative to the US, however, his recent announcement to withdraw Venezuela from the Inter-American system is a reminder that his government are not respecting fundamental rights.  Moreover, those familiar with the region will not find the documentary particularly shocking.  Made for a Western audience, this film is for those who remain ignorant or willfully blind to the roles of US and British empire in subjugating and exploiting people in other countries for the purposes of economic gain and capitalism.  

Directed by Christopher Martin and John Pilger, the documentary can be viewed online here.  It has a good soundtrack including a song by Chilean activist Victor Jara.  

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