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Tags:
20-Somethings,
Activism,
Comedy,
Documentary Feature,
Human Rights and Justice,
North American Jewish Identity,
Social Justice & Human Rights,
Social Justice & Human Rights

Archive Details

Screened at SFJFF 2009

Sure, exposing corporate greed and environmental degradation is serious business—but that doesn’t mean you can’t be hilarious going about it. Meet the Yes Men—eco-pranksters Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno—who pose as mild-mannered corporate executives, then brazenly infiltrate major media outlets and shareholder meetings, skewering their targets with spectacularly satirical stunts.

The Yes Men Fix the World follows these endearing troublemakers—whom author Naomi Klein dubs “the Jonathan Swift of the Jackass generation”—as they take on the likes of Halliburton and the military-industrial tag team supposedly rebuilding post-Katrina New Orleans. In one inspired sequence, Bichlbaum (posing as a Dow Chemical spokesman) announces on BBC Worldwide that the company is taking full responsibility for the chemical disaster at Bhopal, to the tune of $12 billion in aid to its victims. The film even takes us to India to find out if the residents of Bhopal resent having their hopes raised and then dashed by the prank, which cost Dow $2 billion in stock value.

You would think by now that corporate America and international media would be on to these guys—after all, they were featured in a 2004 documentary The Yes Men and have not been exactly secretive about their plot to expose the cult of greed that is destroying the planet. But as this latest, raucous documentary makes clear, the Yes Men have become ever more brazen and brilliant as the stakes in the issues raised by environmental activism climb ever higher.
—Peter L. Stein

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Director
Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno
Editor
April Merl
Co-presented by
San Francisco Cinematheque and Progressive Jewish Alliance
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