Failing as both a mock-doc and a leftist tract, Swiss director Nicolas Wadimoff’s wishy-washy “Operation Libertad” follows young ’70s-era Zurich revolutionaries whose ambiguously courageous attempt to expose capitalist corruption ends badly for all involved. Sporadic humor results from the group’s amateurish involvement in the kidnapping of a big-shot businessman; more common are the frustration and boredom that come with banal dialogue, noncommittal politics and a predictably downward-spiraling narrative. By default, the mostly unseen cameraman implausibly shooting hi-def images circa 1978 seems the film’s most believable character. Exhibition beyond a limited number of alt venues in Europe appears unlikely.
The pic opens with a man in his mid-50s combing through old videotapes and recalling a period when, decades ago, he documented the efforts of anti-capitalist kids to get media coverage of their abduction of Vilas (Antonio Buil), a Chilean official with knowledge of the connection between Pinochet and the Swiss economy. The film’s subsequent flashback is presented through the lens of young Hughes, who remains behind a camera that manages, via Wadimoff’s cutting, to appear in two or three places at once.