[Screenings of THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD can be accompanied by talks with THE YES MEN. Click for more info.]
directed by Andy Bichlbaum + Mike Bonanno | 82 minutes | 2009 | documentary
Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno of The Yes Men have an unusual hobby: posing as top executives of corporations.
Armed with nothing but thrift-store suits, the Yes Men lie their way into business conferences and parody their corporate targets 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.
One day Andy, purportingto be a Dow Chemical spokesperson, gets on the biggest TV news program in the world and announces that Dow will finally clean up the site of the largest industrial accident in history, the Bhopal catastrophe. 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.
Bonus: This film has one of the very few underwater ballet scenes you will ever see in a political documentary!
This film is dedicated to the ongoing struggle of the people of Bhopal to achieve a crucial global precedent.
Please visitwww.bhopal.net and contribute whatever you can – your money, your talents, your time.
“It takes a rare bird to even think up the stunts these guys manage, and an amazing, determined courage to pull them off. These are two of the most creative activists ever!” —Humor Times
“Outrageously entertaining….This movie is glorious testimony to the moral power of satire.” —New York Magazine
“Great fun! It takes some nerve, not to mention diabolical intelligence… to pull off the elaborate pranks devised by the Yes Men.” — New York Times
“Fiendishly amusing… Out-Borats Sacha Baron Cohen at his most confrontational.”—Washington Post
“A hilarious movie…. Even if you don’t agree with the Yes Men’s political agenda, you’ll get a big kick out of this movie.” — New York Post
“Almost too good to be a film. More laughs per dollar than any other film fuel.” — Monsters and Critics
“It shines with raw wit and originality.” — Newsweek
“The Yes Men have pulled off another coup.” — Village Voice
“Funnier and more useful than Sacha Baron Cohen’s Brüno.” — The Observer
“This is the year’s top documentary film.” — New Scientist
“Comedic vigilante justice… Media-savvy pie-to-the-face.” — USA Today
“Exhilarating.” — Financial Times
“A riotous reminder that patriotism is often misconstrued as troublemaking.” — AMC Filmcritic
“This movie is a hoot, and a pertinent one at that.” — Hollywood Reporter
“One of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, and two of the ballsiest guys I’ve ever met. Thank God for the Yes Men.” — Morgan Spurlock, director of Supersize Me
“Hilarious, therapeutic, inspiring. The Yes Men are geniuses.” — Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo
“If you worship Milton Friedman, you’re going to loathe Yes Men Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno.” — Bloomberg.com
“The Yes Men Fix The World could be this season’s choice.” — Screen Daily
“We think it is a serious matter when people willingly misrepresent themselves.” — Exxon
“It’s really a sick, twisted – I don’t even want to refer to it as a joke.” — US Department of Housing and Urban Development