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Vice is a portrait of a polarized American society that should change if it wants times of peace. Any resemblance to Colombia is not purely coincidental
I bought my special Cine Colombia's tickets to enjoy five Oscar-nominated films this year. I ended up watching Vice first because it fit my schedule, and so, without much expectation, I sat for two hours hoping for the best. I did not leave the movie theater disappointed: Vice left me shocked with its visual narrative, with its performances and, above all, with the powerful message it has between the lines.
Leer en español: ¿Por qué ver Vice en tiempos de paz?
Through Vice President Dick Cheney's story during George W. Bush's government, Adam McKay shows the reality of a man empowered to the reality of society. Cheney is a silent monster. This guy has more lives than a cat, a clever and bright mind, and a heart colder than Arctic ice. What makes him so interesting? He knew how to manage and manipulate power according to his interests, even President Bush himself fell under his charm. Dick Cheney is a political master in every sense of the word, but that takes him to the extreme on his own island of power and influence.
I do not intend to tell what happens in the movie because you must watch it. Vice is necessary, because, among other things, it criticizes and calls into question the dangerous polarization that rules this world, including Colombia, which lately is (or seems to be) quite divided. Here in Colombia everything tends to be white or black, right or left, south or north, so you cannot move forward. Here we judge ourselves according to political and social positions that should not have to define anyone's identity. The problem is that they do, because, as Héctor Abad Gómez said, when someone is convinced that what he or she believes is right and does not accept a different position, he or she becomes a fanatic. And a country of fanatics is the least favorable in order to move forward. There should be different positions, yes, of course, obviously, but they should be respected and understood; that is what we have to do in times of peace in Colombia.
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A film like Vice not only surprises, but also impacts and informs. Now that I think about it better, it is not the message itself, but how it shows it, and that is why Cheney is not the end, but the means. When politics are manipulated to favor a few it has consequences, often disastrous, in all possible areas: social, economic and even family. Vice shows that by combining Cheney's personal and family history with his political career, which, although he himself wanted to avoid it, were woven permanently. It is fair in these times of peace that the history of a character like this should be a testimony, in Colombia and in the world, of how far polarized and extremist politics can reach in the hands of a few. Even more, if those few do not speak in terms of ethics, morality or benefit for the people. So in the end, who does it affect? Well, all of us, and so the problem is transformed and is no longer exclusive to those who have power, but it also affects the population that can not, does not know, or does not want to stop how it works.
The post-credits scene of Vice is the best (spoiler alert!), because it questions the very focus of the film and makes it very clear that it does not advocate for the right, but that it does not meant, just because it wants to know and understand the real facts, that they should be labeled as leftists. In the end, Vice is actually a lesson in civic education disguised as a political biopic. So in these times of peace I invite you to know the facts, to inform yourself, to understand, and not to judge lightly. It does not mean that you should take part for one side or another, it is a simple act of exercising your legitimate right to seek the truth without guaranteeing that one day you will find it. But it do means that there is hope.
Oh, and go watch Vice. It is relevant, entertaining, very well made and, last but not least, real.
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LatinAmerican Post | Sofia Machado
Translated from "¿Por qué ver Vice en tiempos de paz?"