LONDON/BERLIN. Having received standing ovations at its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last week, the hilariously shocking The Yes Men Fix the World opened this year’s Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama Dokumente section to equally responsive crowds, culminating in its win of the Panorama Audience Award, announced today.
Directed by the “˜Yes Men™” (Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno) in collaboration with Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 editor Kurt Engfehr, who co-directs, The Yes Men Fix The World leads us through the daring political pranks of two gonzo activists as they take on the fake identity of corporate executives in a bid to highlight the greed and brutal selfishness of some of the world’s biggest and most powerful multi-national corporations.
The film begins with the Yes Men’s famous 2004 impersonation of a Dow Chemical spokesperson on BBC World News, in which they took responsibility for the largest industrial accident in history “the Bhopal disaster“ in a broadcast that reached 300 million people. Dow’s share price dropped by $2 billion in just 23 minutes as shareholders rejected the idea of compensating families who suffered death, disability and disease after 42 tonnes of toxic gas from a leaky chemical plant engulfed the city’s poorest neighbourhoods.
The film also shows the Yes Men posing as Exxon and Halliburton representatives, presenting shocking and ridiculous solutions to climate change to industry audiences, as well as appearing alongside the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans to show how government could right the wrongs done to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Besides covering the Yes Men’s daring hoaxes, the film investigates and attacks the blind worship of the free market that has led so many corporations and government agencies to put profits before people.