The YES Men (2003)

December 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Posted in DVD Review, Film Review | Leave a comment
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I never did understand friends’ thumbnail accounts of what a couple of anti-global trade activists were up to; it was always “they turn up and pretend to speak on behalf of the establishment and get thrown out.”

But I finally got to see the documentary/film The Yes Men on DVD the other night.

It’s all about Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum campaign against the against the WTO (World Trade Organisation). Rather than taking to the streets or blogging, they speak on behave of the WTO ! As the documentary explains, Mike-and-Andy were give control of the domain gatt.org, which they turned into a parody of the WTO site. As they say: “On the Internet no one can tell if you are a dog”, and organisations/conferences started to invite representatives from gatt.org (thinking they were inviting an arm of the WTO) to speak.

The documentary/film follows Mike-and-Andy as they impersonate trade experts/strategists from the WTO at a number of conferences. We see Mike-and-Andy’s increasingly unsubtle send up of WTO policy – culminating in a ridiculous gold unitard.

The documentary is definitely sympathetic with Mike-and-Andy’s position. But regardless of your position, the documentary and Mike-and-Andy what do is pretty funny. Mike-and-Andy take stand-up satirical comedy to another level – without the laughter (track). Most of the venues where the guys speak are populated by analysts/accountants/academics/diplomats for whom english is a second-language – so something might be lost in translation. The latter might also explain why the audience never reacts to the ridiculous propositions Mike-and-Andy espouse.

If you like political satire this DVD is for you.

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