REVOLUCIÓN (Charles Gervais). 87 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (May 25). Rating: NN Rating: NN
It's hard to imagine making a dull film about a subject as fascinating as Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez , but Charles Gervais manages just that in Revolución , a look at the anatomy of revolutions through the prism of Chavez's presidency.
Chavez is a singular figure in Latin American politics. Though anti-American speechifying can be heard the world over, Venezuela's huge oil reserves compel the U. S. to actually listen to Chavez. Here, he often comes across more like a Benthamite (his goal is "the greatest possible measure of happiness for all Venezuelans") than a Marxist. Nevertheless, his close friendship with Fidel Castro worries not only the U.S. but also Venezuelans who fear their country will become another Cuba.
Revolución tries to maintain the type of "balance" American cable news is famous for: let both sides speak, but verify nothing. I'd like to know if an anti-Chavez activist is correct when she claims crime and garbage problems are worse since he was elected. Or if there's much evidence beyond (admittedly historically justified) paranoia to support the idea that the U.S. orchestrated the 2002 coup attempt. Objective reporting is a laudable goal, but the film would benefit from a little extra digging and a stronger point of view. Deirdre Swain