What would make you start a revolution?
Che Guevara died in Southern Bolivia while trying to ignite the sparks of revolution throughout South America. His death at the hands of Bolivian Rangers trained and financed by the US Government, marked the beginning of the cocaine era in Bolivia.
Forty years later and under pressure from the masses who gave him a clear mandate, the first indigenous President Evo Morales (an ex-coca leaf farmer) is promising to continue the revolution. He has nationalised the oil industry and passed laws on Agrarian reform. Despite the revolutionary-sounding election speeches and campaign iconography that accompanied his landslide victory, on closer inspection it emerges that the old system is pretty much alive inside the new one. Corruption, nepotism and old-fashioned populism are at the core of this movement. The more Morales does to create employment, the more the landowners conspire against him and paralyse Bolivia’s economy. As a result, no jobs are created and the pressure from the poor increases.
The cycle of tension threatens to crush both the country and the indigenous revolution. Looking for the Revolution is about the dynamics of that tension as witnessed by the characters of the film - the struggle for power between landowners and the indigenous movement, and the continuation of a revolution Morales-style, started so long ago.
Running on a platform of socialist reform, Morales gained the overwhelming support of Bolivia’s indigenous farming class, and is now actively working to redistribute land and nationalize Bolivia’s vast natural resources. However, the new president’s moves towards nationalization have sparked complaints among the landowning, upper class (mostly of Spanish heritage), renewing tensions between the rich and the poor, white Bolivians and indigenous Bolivians. The question remains: How will Morales’ Bolivia be any different from the Bolivia of the past?
Apr 16, 2008, 18:31:45
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