The documentary Our Brand Is Crisis by Rachel Boyton, paints a grim picture of how an American political advising company is hired to help reelect a once Bolivian president, Gonzalo “Goni” Sanchez de Lozada back into presidential office. In the film, many persuasive techniques and political deceptions are provided to show how a manipulative process can push its way into a winning position. Bolivia, a South American land locked country, is known worldwide as a very poor and unstable nation but with many natural resources to offer, including an immense supply of natural gas. The documentary helps to centralize the basic idea of a poor country in the middle of a civil “crisis” that needs “democratic” direction. But as well, many under lying intentions can be distinguished and taken from this very well put together picture.

From the autobiographical book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins, a true story about how he (Perkins) became to earn the label “EHM” a.k.a. Economic Hit Man , many similarities can be recognized between the story told and what the American political advising company did in 2005 in Bolivia. Perkins defines EHM’s, “We are an elite group of men and women who utilize international financial organizations to foment conditions that make other nations subservient to the “corporatocracy” running our biggest corporations, our government, and our banks.” (Perkins pg. xx) This is eerily similar to what the executives and staff of the American political advising company can be compared too. Basically what they do or did in Bolivia, is or was to provide assistance for a certain political icon without discrimination. But they also, insert themselves into the middle of a controversial situation, something they have never directly been apart of, and use they’re power and money to sway the popular opinion, whether or not it be beneficial to the country as a whole. They do this by providing simple advice from respected political figures, for instance James Carville, focus groups composed of local citizens to evaluate political ads, and ideas that promote globalization. “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” makes a good point that most definitely puts the American political advising company into perspective. Perkins explains that as an EHM, he was taught to blend in and never to let it be known what the actual intentions were. Perkins is able to simply describe that an EHM wants to sell a country into debt. Meanwhile, letting the country become so over taken by debt that the United States is allowed to let them pay some of that debt back by allowing them to build military bases and exploit natural resources in exchange for the money they owe.

Also another interesting fact that can be seen in the film is that the presidential candidate Goni, supports many of the ideals seen in the United States and if not even more interesting, is himself born and bred from the United States. This may not be coincidental that the American political advising corporation supported Goni. In the article “The Slow Death of the Washington Consensus on Latin America” by James M. Cypher, the policies of Goni and the American political advising company can be thought to hold similar standards to this statement, “Leading orthodox economists both in the United States and throughout Latin America urged deregulation of capital markets, free exchange rates, privatization of parastate firms, and “flexible” labor markets.” (Cypher pg.47). In the film, Goni does just that. He urges the citizens of Bolivia to give him the authorization to export there natural gas resources. He also hired many foreign investors to build airports, electrical utilities, and railroads in return for capital investments. This, under the definition of globalization is thought highly upon, but to the Bolivian citizens it was not. Many believed they were stripped of job opportunities and that their natural resources were being taken from them without their consent. This was made very evident in the documentary and was in part what led to a violent riot and the resignation of Goni.

Our Brand Is Crisis provides more than just an American political advising company directing a foreign presidential candidate, it is able to portray the influential power and control the United States has assigned on smaller and weaker countries. It is also able to expose a system that has been used for centuries and can be summed up in a quote from “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” , “When men and women are rewarded for greed, greed becomes a corrupting motivator.”(Perkins pg. xv).