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The film is a wake-up call on the dangers of letting business rule the world. It follows the screwball activists from India to New Orleans to New York, as they infiltrate Big Business in their quest to fix the world, one hoax at a time. It is a film with, a hundred laughs, and a powerful political punch.
It starts with a momentous event: when the Dow Chemical Corporation shocked the world by announcing, live on BBC television in front of 300 million viewers, that the company would finally take responsibility for the 1984 Bhopal catastrophe, and would adequately compensate the survivors. But the Dow Spokesperson was actually one of the infamous “Yes Men” who scam their way into the bastions of power by posing as corporate executives.
As Exxon, they stunned a conference of oil executives with the announcement of Exxon’s plan to keep the economy humming even with the onslaught of climate change—namely, by turning its millions of victims into fuel.
As Halliburton, they presented giant inflatable “Survivaballs” designed to keep the extremely wealthy safe from the havoc of climate change, to the delight of the audience of executives who applaud the invention.
Readers of The New York Times got some historic news: the Iraq War was over, a cap had been placed on CEO salaries, and George Bush had indicted himself for war crimes. Copies of the fake paper delighted everyone; it seemed, except The New York Times.
The US government has of course also been the target of the Yes men.
All this and more is featured in the Yes Men’s gut-busting, hard-hitting, award-winning documentary film The Yes Men Fix The World. Besides the Yes Men’s daring hoaxes, the film investigates the worship of greed that has led so many corporations and government agencies to put profits above people; and it ends with a rousing call to action
The Yes Men Fix the World swept the festival circuit, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival garnering awards and praise along the way:
The Sundance Festival says, “The Yes Men Fix the World is as entertaining as it is effective.”
“Hilarious, therapeutic, inspiring. The Yes Men are geniuses.” — Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo
“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
SmartScreens is a Durban initiaitve which runs free monthly screenings of films on contemporary local and global issues such as the financial crisis, environmental crisis, economics, happiness, consumerism, health, food, war, freedom.
SmartScreens was started by two friends and colleagues in the film industry who are fortunate to see powerful films from around the world, which can impact on the way people think, live, make decisions, but are not easily available to the public.
One of the founders Nisha Rajah Naidoo said, “ Unfortunately most of the films do not get distribution deals, broadcast licenses or theatrical releases here. So through our industry knowledge and networks, we make the films available through free, public screenings. Our mission statement is inspired by poet and author Maya Angelou who said,“ When people know better they do better.”
The screenings are currently held at the Centre for Fine Art and Design. (CFAD) which is run by world-renowned cartoonist, illustrator and animator Dr. Nanda Soobben. Dr Soobben said, “SmartScreens is such a great idea: using films to inform, educate and engage people on the most important issues of our time in a social, friendly envronment. We always have good films, good speakers, good discussions and a very good time.”
“We plan to roll out screenings in other venues in 2012 following these principles, which will lead to a growing network of more informed, engaged and active people,” she said.