Our Brand is Crisis

Our Brand is Crisis is a 2005 documentary film by Rachel Boynton that deals with American political campaigning tactics practiced internationally. It focuses on the Greenberg Carville Shrum groups in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. Not only does the film focus on the tactics by the groups but also the consequences that result from these tactics and decisions. The main goal for the groups consisted of remaking the image of an ex president then marketing him to voters across Bolivia. They believe that they can bring in ‘Western’ ideas on democracy and capitalism, and then incorporate them into various Latin American societies. They have worked in the United States and European nations, so their thought is that they can work across the globe. Many people do not believe that this is the case and that if these groups try to hard it will only hurt the nation greatly. The Cypher article says it best with “Latin America engaged in an indiscriminate opening to foreign capital, thus permitting its pattern of national economic development to become hostage to the volatile and perverse whims of global financial markets. Indiscriminate opening of the capital account and slipshod deregulation and privatization of the financial sector-hallmarks of the Latin American economic “revolution” have come under increasing scrutiny”. Just because things work in one area and for a certain group of people, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. The film shows this to be the case as Bolivians take to the streets in the film, wanting the blood of corrupt politicians.

              The film proved to be very disturbing due to watching these groups from the United States twist an election any way they want to, especially since it is a foreign nation. One scene from the film that really stuck in peoples head was when James Carville compared leading on Election Day to that of a male’s orgasm. Many of these members of the various political groups seemed unfazed when asked questions on the legality of the election. They didn’t seem to care that their candidate really wasn’t popular and shouldn’t win the election. When private organizations start meddling in political affairs at this kind of level, the result will rarely be positive. It has been shown throughout history and even today that private organizations are for profit first and many of the times profit only. The John Perkins article compares it with other areas with, “Today we see the results of the system run amok. Executives at our most respected companies hire people at near slave wages to toil under inhuman conditions in Asian sweatshops. Oil companies wantonly pump toxins into rain forest rivers, consciously killing people, animals, plants and committing genocide among ancient cultures”.  This only goes to show that private corporations cannot be trusted to run political organizations and races between candidates. They will support a candidate in order to get a promise that once the candidate wins, he or she will return the favor with economic benefits for the corporation helping out. The entire system is very corrupt and the film shows this extremely well. As long as these corrupt organizations are helping corrupt politicians, the people will continue to suffer.