In 1988, after 15 years of brutal rule, Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet faces increasing international pressure to legitimize his regime. He calls for a presidential referendum and gives each side fifteen minutes of television time per day to argue their case. The people of Chile will have a simple choice: vote “Yes” and keep Pinochet in power, or vote “No” and move to democracy. No is the true story of the advertising campaign that changed a nation.
Rene Saavedra (Gael García Bernal) is a young, up-and-coming advertising executive who has been given the opportunity to lead the “No” campaign. After seeing the depressing attack ads that the committee has already developed, Rene decides that if they are to win, they will have to focus on the positives of democracy rather than the evils of Pinochet’s regime. No is a tale of human elation, of the power that collective joy holds over fear and anger. Plagued by a lack of resources and beset upon by Pinochet’s spies, Rene and his team devise a daring plan to win over the hearts and minds of a population that has been trampled on for too long. He must convince Chile that freedom is worth fighting for. Filmed with lo-fi cameras and weaving in the actual ads used in 1988, No examines how one dedicated man can change the course of history.
Written by Pedro Peirano and directed by Pablo Larraín, No will see a limited release on February 15, 2013. This Spanish-language Sony Pictures Classics drama also stars Alfredo Castro, Antónia Zegers, Marcial Tagle, Néstor Cantillana, Jaime Vadell, and Pascal Montero. Rated R for language.