Pablo Larraín's "No" — which took the top prize at Cannes' 44th Directors' Fortnight sidebar and is Chile's official entry at the Academy Awards — packs quite a punch, by the looks of its recent trailer. Gael García Bernal stars in the true story as Rene Saavedra, an advertising executive who has been asked to campaign voter resistance to Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet in light of the forthcoming referendum.
Watch: Gael Garcia Bernal Dethrones Augustus Pinochet in ‘No’ Trailer (VIDEO)
Watch: Gael Garcia Bernal Dethrones Augustus Pinochet in 'No' Trailer (VIDEO)
"We're using advertising language, but building a political concept behind it," Saavedra explains to a room of opposition leaders as a promotional video plays on the tiny television set. "NO" reads a T-shirt, a line of flags, as images of racing horses, happy children, hikers, exercise aerobics and — not to be excluded — mimes, flash across the screen. Will this be enough to sway Chilean voters to overthrow Pinochet?
The trailer possesses a lightness throughout that speaks to the liberation these men and women seek — but in its quieter moments, we see the road to democracy isn't always so simple. "Chile, happiness is coming," a news host announces in the final scene of the trailer, quickly succeeded by a lull in music and the title of the film, "NO," in large, bold letters. Watch the trailer below:
"No" will have a limited release on February 15, 2013 via Sony Pictures Classics.