Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking
Press release from the Yes Men, August 5, 2009:
U.K. theatrical premiere of “The Yes Men Fix the World” August 7, opens in U.S. theaters in October
ExxonMobil and Dow Chemical spokespersons have lashed out out at award-winning new documentary “The Yes Men Fix the World” in an interview with the Reuters press agency, shortly before the film’s U.K. theatrical opening.
“We think it is a serious matter when people willingly misrepresent themselves,” said a spokesperson for the world’s largest oil company, responding to the film’s airing on HBO last week. The film will be in theaters in the U.K. beginning this Friday, August 7, and in U.S. theaters in October.
Exxon stopped short of calling the Yes Men outright liars, despite a scene in the film where the Yes Men, impersonating Exxon at a big oil conference in Canada, present the company’s supposed solution to climate change: a new biofuel called Vivoleum, made from the human victims of climate change.
“Exxon can’t actually deny that their actions are threatening to kill off millions or billions,” said Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men. “What else would they do with the victims?” (Also featured in “The Yes Men Fix the World” are interviews with members of free-market think tanks, until recently funded by Exxon, who promote inaction on climate change before Congress and through multi-million dollar advertising campaigns.)
The film is no kinder to Dow Chemical, the world’s second-largest chemical company. The film shows the Yes Men impersonating Dow live on the BBC before 300 million viewers, announcing that Dow will finally compensate survivors of the Bhopal catastrophe and clean up the tainted groundwater left in its wake. The film contrasts this stark reality with Dow’s “Dow Hu” advertising campaign.
Dow has reacted in kind. “While some may find the Yes Men entertaining,” said a Dow spokesperson, “it is important to realize that these pranksters continue to communicate inaccuracies.”
“Dow lets people die from tainted water in Bhopal, yet communicates itself as a sort of corporate Mother Theresa,” said Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men. “Nobody but a psychopath would find THAT entertaining.”
For those who do want entertainment, The Yes Men Fix the World begins previews August 7 at the Odeon Panton Street in London, and launches officially on August 11 in 20 cinemas across the U.K., before moving on to a theatrical release in the U.S. beginning October 7. For full screening dates and times, and to buy advance tickets, please visit http://www.theyesmenfixtheworld.com/screenings.htm
Come See the Yes Men Get Served?
If you happen to live in the U.K., the Yes Men will be attending the London preview screenings August 7-10 and will appear live at the nationwide simulcast on August 11. These are great opportunities to serve the Yes Men legal papers should you or anyone you know wish to sue them. Please get tickets early to reserve a seat for these potentially lively events! Note as well that the Yes Men will give a free “Special Edition” New York Times to anyone who comes to any daytime screening, or to one of the Monday-Wednesday evening screenings at the Odeon
Panton Street London between August 7-13.
Anywhere in the World? Take the Yes Men Challenge
Lots of people have cool ideas for hot new Yes Men type actions. Sign up at http://challenge.theyesmen.org/ and browse others’ ideas, or make yours come true.
Ready for Real Action?
Non-violent civil disobedience has been a core tactic of movements for justice throughout history – from Indian Independence, to U.S. Civil Rights, to the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. It has already played an important role in blocking or shutting down dirty energy facilities. One way to move beyond talk is to visit http://www.beyondtalk.net/ and sign up.