Press Release: In Wake of Controversial Leader’s Passing, FRONTLINE’s “The Hugo Chavez Show” to Air on WORLD Channel March 8
March 6, 2013, 6:22 pm ET
FRONTLINE and WORLD Channel Present
In the wake of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez’s death at age 58, FRONTLINE is partnering with WORLD Channel to broadcast its acclaimed film, The Hugo Chavez Show, this Friday, March 8 at 8 AM, 2 PM, & 7 PM and 12 Midnight EST (9 PM PST).
“Hugo Chávez believed he was destined to change Venezuela and the whole of Latin America,” says Raney Aronson-Rath, FRONTLINE deputy executive producer. “In the immediate wake of his passing, we are pleased to partner with WORLD to bring FRONTLINE’S 2008 film, The Hugo Chávez Show, to a broad audience.”
“As we collectively debate Chávez’s legacy, this film is a fascinating and revealing piece of the puzzle,” says Aronson-Rath. “It is a definitive look at this controversial leader’s rise to power, his savvy use of the media, the realities of the ’21st-century socialism’ he espoused, and how he influenced his country and the world.”
“This compelling profile will be available on WORLD Channel via public television stations across the country, with several broadcast opportunities for viewers to experience this important work,” adds WORLD General Manager Liz Cheng.
In The Hugo Chavez Show, FRONTLINE producer Ofra Bikel travels to Venezuela to offer an illuminating portrait of the Venezuelan president. Through interviews with former government officials, Chávez associates and ordinary Venezuelans, FRONTLINE chronicles Chávez’s ascent to power and his emergence as one of the dominant figures in recent Latin American history.
The Hugo Chavez Show begins by introducing viewers to Aló Presidente—or “Hello, President”—a weekly televised show that often ran five to eight hours and featured Chávez speaking directly to the people, explaining government policy and mixing in a smattering of songs, poetry and whatever else struck his fancy.
Beyond being a venue for Chavez’s personality, Aló Presidente served as a weekly window into Venezuelan government, with Chávez often announcing major policy decisions on live television, such as the time he ordered 10 battalions to the Colombian border, or the time he announced that Venezuela was pulling out of the International Monetary Fund. Both decisions were soon reversed off-air.
The Hugo Chavez Show is an important primer on the accomplishments, failures, appeal and repression of the Chávez era, just as debate about his legacy begins.
The Hugo Chavez Show is a FRONTLINE co-production with Ofra Bikel Productions. The producer, writer and director is Ofra Bikel. The deputy executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is David Fanning.
Praise for The Hugo Chavez Show
“This portrait transcends news events.” – David Montgomery, The Washington Post
“An even-handed, unillusioned view of a highly perplexing figure.” – Mark Feeney, The Boston Globe
“A fascinatingly revealing documentary.” – Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
FRONTLINE explores the issues of our times through powerful investigative storytelling. FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation and by the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund. FRONTLINE is closed-captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by the Media Access Group at WGBH. FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of the WGBH Educational Foundation.
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