**2009 Sundance Film Festival **
The Yes Men Fix The World follows The Yes Men - Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno - as they take on Dow Chemical, Exxon Mobil, Halliburton and the U.S. government, posing as official spokesmen who make altruistic announcements that fly in the face of institutional interests. In the film's opening scene, Bichlbaum, purporting to be a Dow Chemical representative, goes on the BBC to announce that after 20 years of denial, his company will finally clean up India's toxic Bhopal plant and compensate all the victims of the industrial disaster that occurred there. As people connected to the issue celebrate the news, Dow's stock plummets.
Pundits ask whether the duo perpetrated a cruel joke by giving Bhopal survivors false hope, so Bichlbaum and Bonanno travel to India to ask residents for their reactions. Some say they were disappointed to learn of the fraud, but others seem pleased that the prank called attention to the shameful neglect of big business and government.
At conference after conference, The Yes Men take on some of the world's biggest businesses. Attending Canada's largest oil conference, they impersonate Exxon Mobil officials and present biofuel candles made from "climate-change victims." They then claim to be Halliburton executives unveiling apocalyptic "Survivalball" suits that will be marketed to the super-rich.
The Yes Men function as gonzo journalists. They interview scientists and families in New Orleans, where Bichlbaum poses as a U.S. government spokesperson and promises - to a believing Mayor Ray Nagin, among others - to reopen public housing and force Exxon to pay $12 billion to restore the region's wetlands as a response to Hurricane Katrina.
Throughout the film, The Yes Men spoof the twisted world of free-market think tanks in their crusade to call into question today's big business methods.
Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno (The Yes Men) have been called "the Jonathan Swift of the Jackass generation" by author Naomi Klein. Their 2004 feature documentary "The Yes Men" received numerous festival awards and was distributed theatrically around the globe. Most recently, The Yes Men Fix The World was named Best Documentary at the Berlin Film Festival.
The Yes Men Fix The World is an Arte France, Article Z, Renegade Pictures UK, Britdoc, Charnay-Bachrach production. Written, directed and produced by Andy Bichlbaum and Michael Bonanno; co-directed by Kurt Engfehr; executive producers, Alan Hayling, Patrice Barrat, Jess Search, Juliette Timsit; producers, Doro Bachrach, Ruth Charny, Laura Nix; editor, April Merl; animation by Patrick Lichty; original music by Neel Murgai and Noisola.
2009 Documentary Films Series
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