In all of the excitement over the release of Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story," we overlooked a second film screening last week with implications for the future of capitalism: Oliver Stone's "South of the Border," a movie tribute to Venezuelan nationalist strongman Hugo Chavez. Mr. Chavez and the leader of Bolovia, Evo Morales, attended an event for the movie at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. IndieWire and Time Out New York have accounts of the event at Lincoln Center, with Time Out reporting that the movie "portrays Chavez in nothing but the most superflattering light." A Bloomberg News movie review says the film "chronicles South America's socialist shift during the past decade and its emancipation from .. so-called predatory capitalism." Says the Bloomberg review: "The movie doesn't mention Chavez's blacklisting of millions of people who signed a petition seeking a recall vote against him in 2004; the persecution of political rivals; the creation of a new "Capital District" to usurp power from the opposition-led Caracas city government; and the refusal to renew the broadcasting license of Radio Caracas Television, the country's oldest station."
A source who attended the event tells FutureOfCapitalism.com that about a third of the audience cheered Chavez, a third applauded, and a third kept their hands in their pockets. The Film Society of Lincoln Center's Web site says the organization's chairman is Ann Tenenbaum and its president is Daniel H. Stern. One wouldn't want to personalize this issue unduly, and the Film Society does lots of things other than this event, but it seems worth mentioning, at least, that both of these leaders of the Film Society have prospered under capitalism, as you can see here and here. So just as Goldman Sachs and Viacom funded "Capitalism: A Love Story," other fortunes accumulated under capitalism were funding an event in New York aimed at glorifying Latin America's "socialist shift" away from "so-called predatory capitalism." As our source described it, "It was really an eye-opener."