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No 2012



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About No 💬

NO is the concluding part of highly acclaimed director Pablo Larraín's Pinochet trilogy following on from Tony Manero and Post Mortem.

  • This is the true story of a marketing campaign that sparked a revolution.

In 1988, pressured by his most powerful and generous foreign ally, the United States of America, Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet calls for a referendum on his presidency.

His 15-year regime had been characterized by its disregard for human rights, murders, imprisonments, exiles and ''Desaparecidos,'' the ones who just disappeared.

A coalition of 16 political parties in opposition to the dictatorship approaches a brash young advertising executive, René Saavedra (Gael García Bernal), to spearhead their campaign. Saavedra is a ''closer,'' a seducer of clients with his soft voice and good looks; he oozes sincerity in setting up presentations, whether it's a TV campaign for the latest soft drink or the most important event in the life of his country.

René's boss, Lucho Guzmán (Alfredo Castro), just happens to be a high-ranking member of Pinochet's advisory board.

René's estranged wife, Verónica Carvajal (Antonia Zegers), is a radical activist who believes the plebiscite is a fraud and refuses to legitimize the dictator and his bogus referendum by voting. While she belittles her husband's involvement with the opposition, commonly known as The NO, René just wants them to get back together and live as a family with their son, Simón (Pascal Montero).

Reviewing materials already created for the campaign, René is convinced their grim, endless montages of killings, torture, tanks, and tear gas will turn off voters. With the opposition outspending them an estimated 30 to 1, NO must come up with campaign ads that speak to the heart of the people of Chile and motivate them to go to the polls. The people are frightened, as are the leaders of the NO movement once they realize they are being shadowed and often directly confronted by Pinochet's secret police, the DINA.

''Everyone wants to be happy,'' René says in his quiet, convincing way. ''Happiness'' will be the campaign: ''Happiness is coming if you vote NO!'' This approach meets resistance from colleagues who see it as an affront to the many who have suffered under Pinochet, but René confidently commissions jingles and celebrities to join in delivering the message: ''Chile: happiness is coming!!!''

Director-producer Pablo Larraín explains. ''That's why they won. They didn't attack Pinochet. They just promised a better and nicer future.''

Not only was Pinochet defeated, but 97% of registered voters also turned out at the polls. The NO campaign won almost 56% of the vote.


1970 - President Salvador Allende is elected to power at the head of a Popular Unity coalition of Socialists and Communists.

1973 - August: Augusto Pinochet is appointed by Allende as commander-in-chief of the army.

September: In a violent coup, the presidential palace is bombed. Allende is among the first of 1,213 people who die or disappear between September 11 and the end of 1973. Pinochet dissolves Congress, suspends the constitution, bans opposition, arrests trade unionists and imposes controls on the media. Thousands are forced into exile. Four hundred US CIA experts assist Pinochet. The regime embarks on a radical program of denationalization, closely assisted by economists from the University of Chicago.

1976 - Orlando Letelier, Chile's former foreign minister and Socialist Party leader in exile, is killed by a car bomb in the center of Washington DC. The Pinochet regime is widely implicated.

1978 - Pinochet declares an amnesty to cover all human rights abuses since the coup.

1980 - Pinochet launches a new, dictatorial, constitution, which is ratified by a controversial plebiscite.

Britain lifts its arms embargo on Pinochet's regime.

1986 - Pinochet is the target of an assassination attempt by the left-wing Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front (FPMR).

1987 - Pinochet legalizes some political parties. Leaders of the centrist opposition Democratic Alliance reject the initiative as ''having no other purpose than the continuation of the dictatorship''. The Pope visits Chile and denounces political torture.

1988 - Pinochet, due to international pressure, is forced to call a referendum (plebiscite) on his presidency. The country will vote YES or NO to the extension of Pinochet's rule for another eight years.

The pro-Pinochet YES campaign and opposition NO campaign are given equal airtime on Chilean television.

Pinochet loses a plebiscite on his rule with 44 percent of the ballot.

1989 - Veteran lawyer Patricio Aylwin, aged 70, a Christian Democrat, wins a landslide 55 percent of the votes to become Chile's new president. He is sworn in 1990, but Pinochet stays on as army chief.

1991 - Chile's National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation publishes a lengthy indictment of Pinochet's dictatorship, officially counting 2,279 deaths (later revised to 3,172) in ''political violence''.

1999 - JUNE 30: ''Today the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Archives are releasing newly declassified and other documents related to events in Chile from 1973-78. These documents are part of a voluntary review of U.S. Government files related to human rights abuses, terrorism, and other acts of political violence prior to and during the Pinochet era in Chile.''

Above Excerpts from TIMELINE in THE GUARDIAN - JANUARY 15, 1999

2000 - SEPTEMBER 18: U.S. Department of State issues HINCHEY REPORT documenting CIA Activities in Chile.

2003 - SEPTEMBER 11: 30th anniversary of Allende coup. Investigative reporter Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archives in Washington, D.C. publishes THE PINOCHET REPORT, a compilation of documents declassified by the U.S. to date.

2006 - DECEMBER 11: Death of 91-year-old Pinochet in Santiago, Chile, while waiting to go on trial in England on multiple charges of war crimes and human rights violations.

2012 - APRIL 15: Will of Pinochet opened with no trace of millions of purloined assets.

No Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Pablo Larraín

Writing Credits

Pedro Peirano (Screenplay)

Antonio Skármeta (Play)


Gael García Bernal

Pascal Montero

Alfredo Castro

Claudio Guzmán

Delfina Guzmán

Luis Gnecco

Antonia Zegers

Marcial Tagle

Néstor Cantillana

Diego Muñoz

Jaime Vadell

Sergio Hernández

Elsa Poblete

Florcita Motuda

Shlomit Baytelman

Music by

Carlos Cabezas

Cinematography by

Sergio Armstrong

Category: Oscars, Oscar Academy Award Nominee

Genre: Drama

Countries: Chile, France, Mexico, United States

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