This is an amazing documentary about the coup which temporarily ousted Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in 2002 (he was re-installed a few days later via a popular uprising). The Irish filmmakers, Kim Bartley and Donnacha O'Briain, went to Venezuela to do a documentary on Chavez and found themselves swept up in a right-wing coup. The democratically-elected Chavez had promised to bring actual democracy to his country (i.e., implement policies in the interest of the Venezuelan people, most of them poor). Of course, this earned him the enmity of the country’s oil oligarchs and their friends in Washington. Chavez went too far when he proposed the redistribution of the country’s oil wealth, and the ruling class (almost certainly with CIA backing) launched a coup. In one especially gripping sequence, they threaten to bomb the presidential palace in which the Chavez administration and the filmmakers have taken shelter. This film is far more riveting and suspenseful than most Hollywood fictions.
--Nov 4, 2003