Chavez – Inside the Coup

On the 11th April 2002, the world awoke to the news that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had been removed from office and had been replaced by a new self-appointed „interim“ government. News report after news report carried stories of the mayhem in Caracas, where 11 people had been killed in what were alleged to have been bloody street battles between Chavez supporters and an opposition march. Viewers all over the world were led to believe that Chavez had ordered the killings, and had therefore been forced to resign. What in fact took place was the first coup of the twenty first century, and probably the world’s first media coup.

Kim Bartley and Donnacha O’Briain travelled to Venezuela to make a film about this charismatic and unorthodox world leader. They met with Chavez and secured his permission to have full access to film, what was to be, an up close and personal profile. It turned out to be something completely different.


Country of Production
Ireland / UK / The Netherlands / Germany / Finland

Year of Production

Digi Beta Pal, Beta SP Pal

64 min

Kim Bartley and Donnacha O’Briain

Power Pictures 2002 Limited in association with The Irish Film Board, BBC, ZDF/ARTE, NPS, CoBo, RTE, YLE

Original Language
Spanish, English


Festivals / Awards

Seattle IFF 2003 (Golden Needle Award)
Marseille IDF 2003 (George de Beauregard Prize)
Encounters South African IDF 2003
Toronto IFF 2003
Banff Television Festival 2003 (Global Television Grand Prize)
Prix Italia as Best TV Documentary - Current Affairs 2003
Grierson Award for Best Newcomer and Best International Documentary 2003
IDA Award for Best Feature Documentary 2003
The Golden Link Award-EBU Award for European Co-productions of the the year 2003