Sunday, June 27, 2010

Film Review: "South of the Border" Oliver Stone and Tariq Ali Combin e for a Powerful Documentary

Oliver Stone and Tariq Ali Create Documentary Masterpiece:

"South of the Border"

Eric Green

In the Q&A at the Angelica theatre in NYC, a producer of the film, "South of the Border", Jose Ibanez, was asked how Tariq Ali, who was sitting and answering questions, was asked to join the film. The answer was quite direct; "We needed Tariq to join us when we were completely lost with far too much material for the film. He did a great job in giving us a good context and background for the film."

The night before, Oliver Stone gave a Q&A to promote his film.

By Saturday, the film opened on Friday, the NY Times had delivered a second comment on the film. Ali said that the first one, a regular review was generally positive. But, clearly Ali said the NY Times leaders were not happy with the film review and they made sure another comment was needed to attack the film as one sided and filled with inaccuracies.

Why the controversy? Simple.

This is a documentary film that describes the career of Hugo Chavez's rise to be elected the head of Venezuela; survived a U.S. inspired coup and now bringing economic, social and financial justice to everyday Venezuelans. Oliver Stone is at his finest in directly questioning Chavez and then other leaders: Evo Morales, of Bolivia; both Kirchners of Argentina; Rafael Correa of Ecuador; Lugo of Paraguay; Lula da Silva of Brazil and then, of course, Raul Castro of Cuba.

The film is brilliant.

Clearly, this film will the shifting the thinking, to a greater extent than has been to date, from the declining of Europe and its Euro; England and of course, the United States, as the only world powers on the earth today. There is a new mighty roar coming from South American and Asia.

Columbia the U.S. Base of Reaction

The right wing extremes of the Bush Administration in the 2000 to 2008, with the accompanied Fox news Fascist style news reporting, are highlighted throughout the documentary. Also, the NY Times Editorial hypocrisy in regard to the failed Venezuelan coup receives good attention.

The film's makers dwell at length on the role of television and radio media played in undermining the democratically elected governments. An objective, fair television station through South American is desparately. The current efforts are simply not enough.

But, Stone and Ali showed the continuing strain of U.S. right wing, militaristic role in South America with the continuing arming of the right wing lead government of Columbia. This film segment was preceded by the great hope that the Obama Administration presented in the area of foreign affairs in general and in South America specifically. The recent hemispheric meeting in Trinidad that President Obama attended was certainly a step forward but the failure to invite Cuba to that meeting meant the majority of South American and Central American countries would not agree to any closing document. Most demanded an end to the Blockade.

No Longer A Phenomena

The rise of radical social democracies; new socialist governments and some just plain old democratic mixed ecomomies in South America was once just seen as a phenomena; but its is clear that they are here to stay.

As Raul Castro and other leaders made clear, these revolutions did not happen because of outside intervention, they came from internal struggles and the voting power of the working class.

But at the same time as each country rejects the Internatiional Monetary Fund and seeks their own way; one country, Cuba was the first, and one which every other countriy clearly admires. The solidarity among these countries was truly inspiring. More films will be needed as the audiences pointed out, are needed to fully describe the changes and the end result of getting rid of the International Montary Fund and its ruler, the USA.

The growth of Brasil in the past ten years, up to the present time, shows how rejecting the IMF can result in growth and not the capitalist economic and financial crisis that has gripped the Euro Countries, England and the USA.

Meetings of the G-20 and within that the G8, that are taking place in Toronto this week show that things are certainly changing First of all, the United Nations General Assembly, a couple of years ago demanded the end to the G8 and making G20 a little broader group to lead those discussions. The then President of the GA, Manuel d'Escoto did a great job for more than a year to galvanize the concept of the G189…..a government of all the world.

A small step was taken this week in Toronto.

Distribution; Distribution; Distribution

Stone on Friday nite and Ali and Ibanez on Saturday afternoon repeated their appeal to those in attendance to help get this film seen.

It is not coincidental that as the G-8 and G20 were meeting in Toronto and the very centrist ITUC was meeting in Vancouver, Evo Morales in answer to a question put to him by Stone on how Morales saw his role, he was quite passionate. He sees his role as President of Bolivia as a union leader leading his country. He referred back to his years as a union leader in Bolivia. You have to keep pushing, pushing.

The film will open in Los Angeles: July 2, 2010;
San Francisco: July 16, 2010;
Berkeley: July 16, 2010
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