Documentary, South of the Border

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The documentary, South of the Border, informs its viewers about the conflict between South American leaders and the institutions of the United States, mainly the government and media. The events shown and narrated through the film may be interpreted with the use of sociological theories, which is the main purpose of this film analysis. This paper aims to explain the causes of the realities presented through concepts and theories from the field of Sociology.
Filmmaker Oliver Stone embarked on a journey across the Latin American continent pursuant to the filling of gaps left by mainstream media about the social and political movements in the southern continent. Through a series of interviews he conducted with Presidents Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Cristina Kirchner and former president Nėstor Kirchner of Argentina, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, Lula da Silva of Brazil, Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Raúl Castro of Cuba, Stone was able to compare firsthand information from the leaders themselves with that reported and published by the media (“Synopsis,” n.d.). It gives light to the measures these leaders had to take in order to initiate change in their respective countries, even if their public identities were at stake. Several instances in the film showed the mismatch between these two sources, pointing at the US government’s interests for greatly influencing the media for presenting biased, groundless views.
The film opens with a news program reporting Chávez’s consumption of coca and linking it to the alleged poor governance of Venezuela. He was called a dictator, together with Morales, who was not directly mentioned in the segment but was simply referred to as “the dictator from Bolivia” who supplied him with ...

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...interrelated through sociological concepts. The capitalists (US) wanted to maintain their power over the proletariat (South America) because of its resources (petroleum, natural gas). In this struggle for power, social institutions (government, media) looked for ways to influence people to serve their interests. Being aware of the inequality among them, the South Americans were prompted to form a social movement towards change through reforms and the exercise of democracy.

Works Cited

Inequality. (n.d.). Accessed March 2, 2014, from

Kinloch, G. C. (1989). Society as power: an introductory sociology. NJ: Prentice Hall.

Shaefer, R. (2013). Sociology in Modules (2nd ed). NY: McGraw-Hill.

Synopsis. (n.d.). Accessed on March 1, 2014, from

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