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Frontline: The Hugo Chávez Show
Frontline The Hugo Chvez Show
Actor: Will Lyman
Director: Ofra Bikel
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2009     1hr 0min

FRONTLINE looks at Venezuela's controversial and outspoken president Hugo Chavez and the revolution he claims is turning his country into an anti-capitalist beacon for Latin America and the world. Through the lens of his u...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Will Lyman
Director: Ofra Bikel
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Documentary
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/10/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A Charismatic Figure and His MEDIA OUTLET
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 03/16/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Talk about perverting FDR's fireside chats. This work is mostly about how Chavez uses his "Alo Presidente!" to wield absolute power.
This work had many surprising facts in it. It said that by admitting defeat in a coup is how Chavez gained power. The work says Cuba needs Venezuela, not the other way around. Many Americans loved W's "folksiness" and recently Jindal tried to imitate it to no success. Here you see Chavez singing and they call some of his acts "buffoonish."
This work does show how absolute power corrupts absolutely. Chavez may throw around the term "equality," but he really wants to be the head of his nation forever, just like Mugabe does. Still, the people have voted down many of his measures, so they may be savvy voters despite their poverty.
One thing stood out to me: his program seemed to be a way to blame those in his cabinet for his blunders. It is a way for others to take the heat. This reminded me of the inconsistency of Amin shown in "The Last King of Scotland." Still, when Chavez closed a popular TV station, the people were upset because they couldn't see their favorite soap operas, politics were not the issue for them. It's fascinating how Chavez has mastered some of Machiavelli's principles but also failed at many of them.
Still this work left some things out for me. Much is made of Bolivia's Evo Morales being indigenous. However, Chavez looks VERY indigenous to me. He is one of the few Latin American leaders who is clearly not of European phenotype, yet his obvious ethnic background is never brought up here. The work states that Venezuela needs the US to transform its crude oil into something more sophisticated. However, I swear I heard that Chavez once gave oil to bus companies that transport poor Americans to work. So I get the sense that Chavez has power in the US that this documentary ignores. Also, if left wing politics are so terrible, then why are they being embraced more and more in South America? Why is it a winning ticket there? I'm just not willing to throw Chavez and his fearlessness in front of Uncle Sam just yet, even as this work portrays him as a complete victim. Please also note that almost all of the interviewees here were male; this does make me wonder if politics is highly gendered in that nation."