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Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas
Beyond Elections Redefining Democracy in the Americas
Actors: Amy Goodman, Eduardo Galeano, Emir Sader, Martha Harnecker, Ward Churchill
Director: Michael Fox;Sílvia Leindecker
Genres: Documentary
NR     2008     1hr 44min

What is democracy? Freedom, equality, participation? Everyone has his or her own definition. Across the world, 120 countries now have at least the minimum trappings of democracy---the freedom to vote for all citizens. But ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Amy Goodman, Eduardo Galeano, Emir Sader, Martha Harnecker, Ward Churchill
Director: Michael Fox;Sílvia Leindecker
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Politics
Studio: PM Press
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/28/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

The radical substance of democracy.
Preston C. Enright | Denver, CO United States | 11/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Beyond Elections" is not an "entertaining" film, but it is very informative. It examines the meaning of democracy beyond the occasional votes that take place, and look at how democracy can have a deeper meaning in the world. The DVD goes beyond theories, and takes the viewer to places like Porto Alegre, Brasil where citizens are involved with participatory budgeting The Porto Alegre Experiment: Learning Lessons for Better Democracy. We also are shown how workers in Argentina have taken over the factories that owners and managers have left behind The Take. Another example of democracy in action is the "Bolivarian circles" that have developed in Venezuela Hugo Chavez: The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.
The film isn't flashy at all, it is mostly interviews with people involved in community meetings, worker assemblies, cooperatives and so forth; but in the wake of the Obama election, it's valuable to have a documentary that looks at the nuts and bolts of other forms of democratic participation.
"Beyond Elections" also takes a look at the sort of response that elites have begun in places like Bolivia where indigenous people have been gaining power with the Evo Morales presidency Cocalero. Wealthy business people in the resource rich southern part of Bolivia have begun a secessionist movement that would cost Bolivia's government billions in lost royalties. The film plays comments by Noam Chomsky The Chomsky Sessions: Noam Chomsky On The World regarding how popular movements are being thwarted by elites today.
There is also discussion of how the U.S. is lagging behind in these deeper forms of democracy. Although, the film includes an interview with radio host Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now!" and the effect that independent media in the U.S. is having on the country's consciousness Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times.

See also:
Moving Forward: Program for a Participatory Economy
The World Social Forum: Strategies of Resistance
What Would Jefferson Do?: A Return to Democracy