Our Brand Is Crisis (Film)
Our Brand Is Crisis is a Koch Lorber Films documentary on U.S. political consultants operating around the world. The film debuted March 2005 at SXSW and "screened at New Directors/New Films later that month." 
"'This film is a cautionary tale which comes at a very timely moment,' said Koch Lorber president Richard Lorber in a statement. 'The parallels to the current US administration's approach to selling the war in Iraq are staggering.'" 
The Koch Lober Films promo for the film states: "For decades, U.S. strategists-for-hire have been quietly molding the opinions of voters and the messages of candidates in elections around the world. They have worked for presidential candidates on every continent (in Britain, Israel, India, Korea, South Africa, Venezuela, Brazil, to name a few…) Without the noise of tanks or troops, these Americans have been spreading our brand of democracy from the Middle East to the middle of the South American jungle. OUR BRAND IS CRISIS is an astounding look at one of their campaigns and its earth-shattering aftermath." 
"The filmmaker follows a crack team of Democratic political consultants, including James Carville, Tad Devine and Jeremy Rosner as they strategize for a struggling presidential candidate in Bolivia. This thrilling adventure is a fly-on-the-wall account of the machinations behind the turbulent re-election campaign of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada ('Goni'). In a country facing a calamitous economic crisis, Goni - a wealthy businessman who privatized Bolivia's economy and created social security (when he was president in the mid-'90s) - isn't a popular candidate. Yet the consultants devise a U.S.-style campaign marked by savvy media techniques and negative ads, emphasizing a single, strong message. They reintroduce Goni as an appealing brand in an attempt to win an election whose aftermath is nothing short of devastating.
"Recently Bolivia's new leftist president, Evo Morales, has put the country back in the news. Morales, previously a leader of the coca leaf-growers' union, became the nation’s first indigenous leader in December. Boynton’s film is both a terrific case study in the events leading up to Morales’s win and a shocking example of how U.S. marketing strategies can affect the spreading of 'our brand of democracy' overseas." 
The film "won the Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award at the 2005 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and Boynton was ... nominated for the Truer Than Fiction award at the Independent Spirit Awards. ... The film, produced by Steve Shainberg, shared the International Documentary Association's top prize for best documentary" in 2005. 
The film was produced and directed by Ruth Boynton.
The film's website lists those starring in it as including:
- Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (aka Goni)
- Carlos Mesa
- Mauricio Balcazar
- Manfred Reyes Villa
- Evo Morales
- Jeremy Rosner
- Stanley Greenberg
- Tad Devine
- Tal Silberstein
- James Carville; and
- Amy Webber
Web: Our Brand Is Crisis: http://www.ourbrandiscrisis.net/
- IMDb (includes trailer).
Other SourceWatch Resources
Articles & Commentary
- Eugene Hernandez, "Koch Lorber Acquires Boynton's 'Our Brand Is Crisis'," indieWIRE, December 9, 2005.
- Michael Joshua Rowin with responses from Michael Koresky and Chris Wisniewski, "Anger Management: Rachel Boynton's 'Our Brand Is Crisis'," indieWIRE, February 27, 2006.
- Kenneth Turan, "'Our Brand Is Crisis'. Documentary details the hush-hush truths of geopolitics and the challenges of 'exporting democracy'," Los Angeles Times, April 14, 2006.
- Juan Forero, "Campaign Trail: Film takes viewers behind the scenes of strategists-for-hire who use any means necessary to help underdog Bolivian win", New York Times, May 30, 2006.