Filming ended a month ago for the new James Bond film, "Quantum of Solace," producing some fireworks. The script has star Daniel Craig visiting Bolivia, but the film was shot in Chile, prompting outrage among some Chileans at the sight of Bolivian flags and military uniforms on Antofagasta's streets. Police skirmished with protestors in Antofagasta and in the nearby Atacama desert town of Sierra Gorda. A newspaper protest ad read, "Chile is Chile. We aren't Bolivian Indians. Imperialist British out."
Sierra Gorda Mayor Carlos Lopez burst onto the film set in a car, nearly running down a security guard and confronting Craig before being hauled away by police. Lopez, protesting the closure of city streets for filming without notice, also said, "I disagree with national territory being used [to represent] other countries. Even in a fictional film … neighboring countries use decisions like this to make unjustified claims."
Bolivians weren't happy with the filming, either. Deputy Culture Minister Pablo Groux protested the decision to shoot in Chile and the "stigmatization" of Bolivians in the script, which identified two villain drug traffickers as Bolivians. Adding to the insults, the film also shows Chilean war monuments to the 1879-83 War of the Pacific, which ended with Bolivia losing all maritime access and a substantial chunk of mineral-rich territory to Chile. Relations between the two nations have been strained ever since, and diplomatic ties were broken in 1978 after numerous failures to resolve territorial differences.
The film's producers, who were simply looking for a good location and not a history lesson, seemed mystified by the brouhaha. The movie opens on November 7 in the U.S.
2. Not a Chicken Shit Bust