Address Olav Kyrresgt. 5, Sandnes
Time 17 September 2010 17:00-19:00
The Yes Men Fix the World
A feature documentary
Directed by The Yes Men (Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno) Co-directed by Kurt Engfehr
The Yes Men Fix The World
The Yes Men Fix the World is a screwball true story that follows a couple of gonzo political activists as they infiltrate the world of big business and pull off outrageous pranks that highlight the ways that corporate greed is destroying the planet. Along the way the duo discover the culprits behind the cult of greed, and in a wildly uplifting ending, they find a way for everyone to defeat the cult and save civilization from its own worst excesses.
Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno are two guys who just can't take "no" for an answer. They have an unusual hobby: posing as top executives of corporations they hate. Armed with nothing but thrift-store suits, they lie their way into business conferences and parody their corporate nemeses in ever more extreme ways - basically doing everything that they can to wake up their audiences to the danger of letting greed run our world.
After years of doing their thing, the Yes Men pull off a stunt that opens their eyes to exactly how much danger we all face. Andy, purporting to be a Dow Chemical spokesperson, gets on the biggest TV news program in the world and announces that after 20 years of denial, Dow will finally clean up the site of the Bhopal Catastrophe, the largest industrial accident in history. The result: as people worldwide celebrate, Dow's stock value loses two billion dollars. People want Dow to do the right thing, but the market decides that it can't. The reality hits Andy and Mike like a ton of bricks: we have created a market system that makes doing the right thing impossible, and the people who appear to be leading are actually following its pathological dictates. If we keep putting the market in the driver's seat, it could happily drive the whole planet off a cliff.
At conference after conference, the Yes Men try to wake up their corporate audiences to this frightening prospect, in the process taking on some of the world's biggest and baddest corporations. Just one example: as Exxon, Andy and Mike demonstrate a new biofuel made from climate-change victims. It’s a gut-busting laugh riot - one of several in the film - to see the unsuspecting audience learn that the lit candles they hold are made out of dead people.
On their journey, the Yes Men act as gonzo journalists, delving deep into the question of why we have given the market more power than any other institution to determine our direction as a society. They visit the twisted (and accidentally hilarious) underworld of the free-market think tanks, where they figure out a way to defeat the logic that's destroying our planet. And as they appear on the BBC before 300 million viewers, or before 1000 New Orleans contractors alongside Mayor Ray Nagin, the layers of lies are peeled back to reveal the raw heart of truth - a truth that brings with it hope.
Hope explodes at the end of this film with a power that may take audiences straight out of the theater and into the barricades. A word of warning to theater owners: make sure your seats are securely screwed down.
The Yes Men are a group of activists who use mimicry and masquerade to invade the halls of power and ridicule those who would kill the planet. They can be found at their comfortable home on the interweb, at www.theyesmen.org.