chapter  6
Form, Politics, and Culture: A Case Study of The Take, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, and Listen to Venezuela: Mike Wayne and Deirdre O’Neill
Pages 20

The Zapatista uprising in the Chiapas district of Mexico, on January 1, 1994, was timed to coincide with the day the North American Free Trade Agreement came into effect, further integrating Mexico into the free trade imperatives of the U.S. Confronted by the Mexican army, the subsequent revolt was largely conducted as a media and propaganda war against the Mexican state designed to mobilize national and international public support. It was an early and effective demonstration of the power of the Internet.1 Their example inspired a new wave and mode of struggle against neoliberal capitalism, both within and outside Latin America. Their slogan Ya basta (enough is enough) became popular amongst the new anticapitalist movements emerging in the West.2 This entwining of politics between Latin America and the West became a crucial dynamic after 1994. Film was and remains an important medium in which information and representations about Latin America circulated back into a Western public sphere struggling to escape the stranglehold of its own corporate media and its agenda. In this chapter, we focus on three fi lms that testify to the enduring importance of Latin America in the international struggle to break from neoliberalism. The fi lms are Kim Bartley and Donnacha O’Briain’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2002), Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis’s The Take (2004), and our own fi lm, Listen to Venezuela (2009). The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and Listen to Venezuela are both focused on the revolution that has been happening in Venezuela since the fi rst election of President Chávez at the end of 1998. The Take focuses on Argentina and the mushrooming of worker occupations that swept the country after the political and economic crisis of December 2001 and early 2002.