Sips n' Cinema: Whiskey

Director: Pablo Larrain
2012 • 117 Minutes

This new addition to the VFF Sips n' Cinema begins with a screening of No, followed by a jaunt down to The Argyle Attic, Victoria's new whiskey bar, to experience charismatic whiskeys from around the world.

Winner of the top prize in this year’s Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, No stars Gael Garcia Bernal (Motorcycle Diaries) as the brilliant young Chilean adman who helped topple the dictator Pinochet. Part of Team No's genius was to use humor in its ads, a quite bold move if you consider the seriousness and sadness behind the opposition to Pinochet.

It is 1988 and in an effort to extend and legitimize its rule, the Pinochet military junta announced it would hold a plebiscite to get the people’s permission to stay in power. Despite being given 15 minutes a day to plead its case on television, the anti-Pinochet opposition was divided and without a clear message. Enter Rene Saavedra (Bernal), an ad man who, after a career pushing soft drinks and soap, sets out to sell Chileans on democracy and freedom.

Shot on U-matic video tape to give the film the look of the 80s, filmmaker Pablo Larrain has created a smart, funny and totally engrossing political thriller with a powerful resonance for our times and brings to question whether democracy is a product or a concept.

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