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An Irish television crew from RTÉ happened to be recording a biography about Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez during the coup attempt, during which he was deposed for two days in April 2002. The film is variously cited as an accurate portrayal or a misrepresentation of these events.

During their filming, the crew recorded images, which they say contradicted explanations given by Chávez’s opposition, the private media, the US State Department and then-White House Press Secretary, Ari Fleischer.

The filmmakers’ view was that the coup was the result of a conspiracy between various old-guard and anti-Chávez factions, both within Venezuela and the United States.

The film was positively received by mainstream film critics and won several awards. Reviewers cited the filmmakers’ unprecedented proximity to key events and praised the film for its “riveting narrative.”

Criticism focused on its lack of context and pro-Chávez bias, which has led to disputes over its neutrality and accuracy; particular attention is paid to its framing of the violence of April 11-13, the filmmakers’ editing of the timeline, and the alleged omission of incidents and personnel.

Alexandra Bruce

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Alexandra Bruce

Alexandra Bruce

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