The Yes Men Fix The World

The ‘guerilleros of fun’ are back again, regularly leaving their trail all over the worldwide web – and elsewhere. In their eponymous film screened in the Berlinale’s Panorama section in 2004, the “Yes Men” daringly impersonated employees of the World Trade Organisation, kicking up a considerable stink. For their latest undercover adventure, these political activists have decided to tackle the topic of laissez-faire capitalism, turning companies like Exxon and Halliburton into their willing victims. They carry off their performances as representatives of these global players with such aplomb that they can proceed to use their disguise mercilessly to expose the network of lobbying, hobnobbing and sheer corruption that is employed in order to land big deals. Once they have penetrated the inner sanctum, Bichlbaum, Bonanno and Engfehr turn up the heat – and their supposed colleagues give as good as they get. And this, in spite of the fact that the fake managers’ interjections are crushingly naïve. Their parodies reveal the mind-boggling conditions of practice in boardrooms and elite think tanks. Eventually, Bichlbaum, Bonanno and Engfehr manage to inveigle themselves as far as a meeting between the representatives of 1,000 building companies and the mayor of New Orleans to discuss the future of those parts of the city that were destroyed by hurricane “Katrina”. Investigative journalism was never as entertaining as THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD. Andy Bichlbaum: “Lawyers do battle before a court of law, trade unionists in the world of work, and we do what we do. In terms of trying to change the system it’s certainly not as important as genuine political lobbying. But at least it’s something.”
by Mike Bonanno, Andy Bichlbaum, Kurt Engfehr USA 2009 85’

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