NO VOLVERAN: THE VENEZUELAN REVOLUTION NOW (Melanie MacDonald and Will Roche) Rating: NNN
Here's a film that gives President Hugo Chávez's socialist regime a major boost. Free of political investigation and controversy, No Volverán (no turning back) is strictly a love-in for Chávezvez's Bolivarian revolution.
Filmmakers MacDonald and Roche introduce the political action group Hands Off Venezuela as its members set out on a tour bus to observe the 2006 election, which Chávez wins by a landslide. Later, one of them gushes in admiration of the re-elected president and emphatically swears to bring his example to the U.S., Canada and Britain. So it's no surprise when the credits reveal that Hands Off Venezuela was involved in making this celebratory film.
It is satisfying to watch archival coverage of Venezuela's tumultuous roller-coaster revolution interwoven with present-day footage about the massive social movements that are transforming the squalid living conditions of the country's poorest.
Ordinary folks run their own councils and determine how to allocate government grants to fix up their neighbourhoods. When 800 workers overthrow their boss to turn the Sanitarios Maracay factory into a cooperative, it becomes the role model for other workplaces.
But the best power-to-the-people message is the guiding motto of Catia TV, a channel run by residents of Caracas: "Don't watch TV, make it." (Sep 20, 7 pm, Cumberland Theatre, 159 Cumberland. www.handsoffvenezuela.org)