Our Brand is Crisis

The 2005 film, Our Brand is Crisis,is a documentary detailing the 2002 election of Brazilian’s former president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, “Gino”. The election itself was very strategically planned, but may have been focused a little to much on the win, instead of the outcome. The election process was a grueling one in 2002 when Gino ran for president. The citizens of Brazil were angry and determined that their voices be heard. They were very hard on each of the candidates and were very drawn to the negative campaigning. It would not be an easy win for any candidate. Gino knew this and was sure to hire the right help from Washington D.C. Using people from the strategic campaigning department they formed an excellent campaign slogan, formed focus groups, got feed back from many citizens, made commercials, and even told him how to dress. The strategic team knew how to win any election, but did they know which candidate was really best for Brazil. In chapter 10 of John Chasteen’s book, Born in Blood & Fire, Chasteen discusses Neoliberalism, saying “History repeats itself, but it never repeats itself exactly. Neoliberalism may be the old liberalism déjà vu , but Latin America has changed since liberlism’s last time around.” Brazil needed a president who could offer a new strategy for the citizens in order to help their country’s economy thrive. A strategy that would work for both the economy and the citizens. The film’s strategies were only seemed focus on the Presidential win.

It seemed like Gino said all of the right stuff to the citizens of Brazil, but winning with only 22% of the votes doesn’t exactly make him win the majority. He had been president once before and did not deliver to the citizens what they had asked for, which was jobs. The citizens knew they needed a President to bring work into Brazil so they could have jobs and thrive as a country. A lot of the citizens were poor, which didn’t help the economy – it worked like a domino’s effect for the people. The citizens were immediately taking to the streets protesting Gino’s new presidency. After he had become president the campaign stopped and he could not deliver what they had asked for as fast as the citizens expected. The campaign strategist could wipe their hands clean of the mess in Brazil because they had done their job.

James Cypher’s article, The Slow Death of the Washington Consensus on Latin America, he says “Mexico was locked into a neoliberal cycle of external dependence that hinged upon the subminimum wages of its long-suffering workforce.” He goes on to discuss that Mexico’s economy was dependent on the exports of Latin America because of the lack of industrial growth in Mexico. During the film this is what they people were pleading for, places to work. They had a strong desire to earn money honestly and become a thriving nation. But first, they were dependent on a trustworthy President to get them to that point.