I Am Bolivar | Chicago Reader

I Am Bolivar

Ambitious but unwieldy, this black comedy from Colombia (2001) is the warped odyssey of an idealistic actor (Robinson Diaz) with a hit TV series who comes unhinged and begins to disappear into his role: Simon Bolivar, the 19th-century revolutionary who drove the Spanish from Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. After storming off the set, the delusional star kidnaps the president and sails up the Orinoco, only to encounter some Marxist guerrillas who want in on the act. Director Jorge Ali Triana makes some trenchant observations about the power of mass media (“You take care of the theater, I'll take care of the politics,” Bolivar tells the president), but his film—like its obvious antecedent, Sidney Lumet's Network—has a tough time striking a balance between farce and serious drama. In Spanish with subtitles. R, 93 min.

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