University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Mike Bonanno: The Yes Men Fix the World

February 10, 2010IASEvents0

Mike Bonanno will talk about the unusual hobby that he shares with Andy Bichlbaum: posing as top executives of corporations they hate. 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, purporting to 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.

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.

The Yes Men Fix the World (2009, 87 min) will be playing at the Oak Street Cinema from February 12 to February 16.  Visit Minnesota Film Arts for more information about screenings.

Sponsored by: Art, Collaborative Arts, Communication Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Global Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication, Theatre Arts & Dance

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