Our Brand Is Crisis (2005)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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An adventure following James Carville and a team of U.S. political consultants as they travel to South America to help Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (a.k.a. 'Goni') become president of Bolivia. Goni, is seen by his American strategists as a progressive idealist trying to liberalize business practices and strengthen democracy. However, to many Bolivians, he is a Clintonesque neo-liberal allied too closely with the U.S. With little chance of re-election. Starting with a country in upheaval, we see bloody riots break out in the streets of La Paz, with people throwing stones at the presidential palace as they call for the government's downfall. Flashing back a year, we begin to see the events that led to the bloody tragedy. Goni is on the campaign trail, promising to solve Bolivia's devastating economic crisis if he is elected. Behind the scenes are Jeremy Rosner, Tad Devine, and others from the Greenberg Carville Shrum firm, the American advertising experts hired to sell Goni to the people. With unprecedented access to situations that occur all the time in the United States, but which we're never allowed to see, the chronicle follows detailed media coaching with the candidate, secret focus groups, and emergency ad-making sessions that alter the message to fit the moment. Following the journey to its surprising finish, it is a story for our time about Americans trying to spread democracy overseas.
Art House & International , Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Koch Lorber Films

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Critic Reviews for Our Brand Is Crisis

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (18)

The movie is both frightening and ironically funny, sometimes both.

Full Review… | November 24, 2006
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Subject matter dominates over filmmaking craft in Rachel Boynton's somewhat sloppy but otherwise riveting documentary.

Full Review… | August 18, 2006
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Politics and mass communication are the volatile subjects of Rachel Boynton's information-packed documentary.

July 27, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

It's a galling and provocative experience to viewers of any political persuasion, and a reminder to the left of how easily idealism can run amok.

Full Review… | June 30, 2006
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Unlikely as it sounds, a documentary that details with jaw-dropping candor how contemporary political campaigning works at the highest levels of government is set not in this country but in the far-off reaches of Bolivia.

Full Review… | April 13, 2006
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Rachel Boynton's painfully timely film is actually a full-court tragedy -- the sorry tale of a battle won and a war lost.

April 13, 2006
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Our Brand Is Crisis

An unintentionally funny, poorly conceived documentary that will make you want to punch a plethora of gringos. Starting with the director.

Yama Rahyar
Yama Rahyar

In the USA, money and good packaging wins elections. This documentary shows how we imported this corrupt system to help elect a corrupt politician in Bolivia.

Michael W
Michael W

Impressively insightful doc about political strategy and its consequences.

William Goss
William Goss

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