How singularly appropriate

As the line in the Gilberto Gil song, “Soy loco por ti, America” goes: El nombre del hombre es pueblo…

The life of Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales, is to be turned into a film.

Producers plan to use a TV reality show to cast those who will play him at different stages of his life. Viewers will choose who gets the coveted roles.

In Search of the Southern Cross will depict Mr Morales from his modest beginnings in the Andean Plateau all the way to his presidential victory.


A former coca grower, Mr Morales is the first indigenous person to rise to the country’s highest office.

The film’s Bolivian producer, Wilson Asturizaga plans to shoot the project on a very modest $50,000 (£28,500) budget.

That is well below the tens, or even hundreds of millions of dollars, spent on a typical Hollywood blockbuster in the United States.

The main character will not be named Juan Evo Morales Ayma, President Morales’ full name.

Instead, he will be called Juan Pueblo, or Joe Public, in a tribute to the fact that Evo Morales is just like everybody else and not a member of Bolivia’s wealthy elite.

The producers hope to cast the film in May and to have it ready for release by October 2006, in time for the third anniversary of the street protests in 2003 in which 60 people died.

It was those protests which eventually forced the resignation of then President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and paved the way for Evo Morales’ final ascent to the top.

(Added links mine.)

Could there be a more singularly appropriate way of telling the story of Evo Morales than this–a movie with an extremely modest budget, with actors chosen by popular vote? (This is the president who cut his own salary, and has the largest ever popular vote count in Bolivian history.)

The name of the man is Public, indeed.

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