Saturday, April 05, 2008

From Bolivia With Love

Bond goes to Bolivia and exposes covert CIA funding of fascist separatists! Not really...

(Caution: NOT Salar de Uyuni but the bullshit Atacama!)

In the newest Bond film, Quantum of Solace (really, that's the title?), James Bond (Daniel Craig) travels to Bolivia in the chase to unravel the evil plans of the Quantum organization. The story apparently involves an attempted military coup in Bolivia backed by an "eco-entrepreneur" in order to gain control of the country's water resources (possibly the most realistic Bond political plot to date). Rather than film in cheap, beautiful, and friendly Bolivia MGM decided Chile across the border would make for a fine "modern" substitute, what with all those scary brown people in Bolivia. Because as we all know the US State Department can't debrief shit on shit and thinks Che loving hippies make for great spies no one told the production crew their idea might encounter problems, so last month the team packed up, flew to Antofagasta in northern Chile, dressed up like Bolivian soldiers and hoisted up the Bolivia flag for a brilliant cinematic shot, literally!

"We knew there was a war 100 years ago, but we didn't know it was still an issue," said producer Michael G. Wilson (AP). Apparently seeing the Bolivian flag flying reminded these Chileans of what racist assholes they are for stealing what is now northern Chile from Bolivia in the War of the Pacific and to this day refusing their poorer neighbor access to the sea, so they set out to prove it. "A protest in a local paper read: 'Chile is Chile. We aren't Bolivian indians. Imperialist British out.'" (Actually in the late 19th Century the Chileans were acting as surrogates of the British Empire against Peruvian nationalization and Bolivian heavy taxation of guano and saltpeter exploitation by British capital). Later working in a small mining town in the Atacama desert, Baquedano's dead beat mayor drove onto the film set, nearly crashing his car into two bystanders and a police officer, to demand that the crew receive a filming license from him for a mere 300,000 pesos- to which they refused and the mayor subsequently arrested.

Bolivia then found out what was going on and the Bolivian Cultural Minister Pablo Groux wrote a letter in La Razon decrying not only the stupidity of filming Bolivia in Chile but the films depiction of Bolivians as evil drug traffickers. "This stigma shouldn't characterized Bolivians,'' wrote Groux, "not even in the fictional context of Bond.'' And come on, doesn't everyone know that our coke stopped coming out of Bolivia like more than a decade ago, Columbia, Columbia, people!

Rather than create incidents for the Second War of the Pacific, MGM would have done much better imitating Benicio Del Toro in Guerrilla (2008) by just filming in Bolivia, and maybe rewriting the script a bit. I am thinking Bond gets sent on a mission to Bolivia to assassinate Evo Morales, but in the interlude falls in love with a singer cholita (make her Afroboliviana to boot) and discovers the errors of his ways spending his life in service to Anglo-American imperialism, finally joining up with Zombie Che to crush global capitalism. Yeah, now I'll pay ten bucks to see that!


Anonymous said...

um. Colombia

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Raven said...

Chile didnt steal anything from Bolivia. In fact the only thing Chile did was defend itself after Bolivia broke a treaty and then forced Chilean laborers to live on rafts in the ocean. Bolivia had a secret pact with Peru to support them in case of a conflict with Chile. The lands that both Bolivia and Peru lost in this war are considered 'War Reparations". Chile does not have to return anything let alone costal access. A few years ago Chile offered a corridor to allow Bolivia to have commerce with the rest of the world but they were too dogmatic in wanting all the lands they lost and refused saying it was "all or nothing." naturally Chile decided to give nothing. To call Chilean Racists is like calling Mother Theresa selfish. If you look at Chileans throughout history they have absorbed an influx of immigrants ranging from Europeans and Asians to other neighboring South American nations like Peru and Bolivia much like the US has.

El Duderino said...

Thanks for sticking up for Chile. I was overly harsh. My acculturation in Bolivia was showing- hating Chile is a national past time.

Anonymous said...

"for stealing what is now northern Chile from Bolivia in the War of the Pacific" Cry more please...what a bunch of crap you type in here, STOLE??? It was a war and yeah you got Owned so hard that your little but can still feel it.

go cry some more +=(

and keep telling yourself that =D

you toxic waste of life.

raven said...

please forgive the rude anonymous. Some people don't realize that being rude and belligerent wont make things better.

I have Bolivian friends that I consider family and am well aware of the other Bolivian past time. The first being soccer of course. Fortunately politics arent the only things in this world and in my priority list fall almost dead last.

Peruvians on the other hand.... I have yet to meet one that doesn't hate all Chileans. Thats dedication.