More Propaganda Than Documentary

RECEIVED Wed., Feb. 4, 2004

Dear Editor,
   I am surprised at your naiveté and lack of research on your review of the film The Revolution Will Not Be Televised [Film Listings, Jan. 9].
   Experts of the film industry and witnesses of the events have already discussed worldwide the inaccuracy and distortions of this film. It cannot be ethically classified as a documentary when there are some re-enacted scenes, images of Chavez's followers two years dated, wrong time references, scenes recorded three months later, images of events that do not correspond to what they are referred, among many other distortions. This film can only be classified as political propaganda.
   To prove a supposed mass media conspiracy, Bartley and O'Brien ignored important facts. For example, it is not even mentioned in the film that on April 11, 2002, while 21 demonstrators were being murdered near the presidential palace, Chavez imposed a simultaneous transmission of four hours to all private TV stations. The media was forced to broadcast Chavez's long speech instead of what was going on in the streets. Due to the urgency of the events, TV stations decided to split the image in two and broadcast Chavez and the demonstrations. Minutes later, Chavez's government cut down their signal. Until now, nobody has been prosecuted for those murders.
   The purpose of this film is to present the Venezuelan president as a victim of a coup d'état. In order to support this thesis, the film creators decide to leave out the fact that on April 12, 2002, Maj. Gen. Lucas Rincon, current minister of the interior, announced Chavez's resignation to the presidency.
   As your own review says, this is "an amazing documentary that feels more like a political thriller." It sure feels like a thriller! Chavez asked for that, and he is paying it with our government money.
Adriana Urgelles
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