No – The Chilean movie you need to see

No Film
Chilean Film No – Gael García Bernal

Before I start my review on Pablo Larraín’s No, why should you care and what does it have to do with language learning?  Why watch a movie in the language you are learning? Isn’t that just procrastination?

I realise that sitting down and watching a movie can seem slightly unproductive. It feels as though you are just using it as an excuse to slack off. However, it can be one of the most productive things you do if you follow these simple rules:


  1. Put the subtitles on in the target language. This way if you miss a word/do not know how to write it down, you have it right there on the screen. Netflix is fantastic for this.
  2. Write down any vocabulary you do not understand as you watch the film. Don’t keep stopping and starting the film, attempt to write it in time.
  3. Watch at least one interview with the director/actors and read one review IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE after watching the film. This may just be appealing for film nerds such as myself, however the benefits can be amazing.

On to the review.

No depicts the run up to the referendum to kick Pinochet out of government and follows the main protagonist, René Saavedra, played by Gael García Bernal, a young advertising executive who is the brains behind the “No” campaign.  This was Chile’s Berlin Wall, and the film lives up to the intensity and insanity behind the whole affair. Saavedra is attempting to sell the “No” campaign in the same way that he sells Pepsi to the Chilean population, all sunshine and rainbows. However, he does not just incur opposition from Pinochet but from the radical left, supposedly on his side, as well. The film brings humour into such a profound moment in Chilean history and Bernal, as usual, is brilliant!

Check out the trailer here – this one is not to be missed:

For any of you fellow film nerds here is an interview with Bernal and Larraín:

Immerse yourself in language through film!