Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Yes Men Are Revolting (2014) Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2015
I'm not so sure that's a good thing...Well it is a good thing because it's enjoyable but at the same time my take away from the film was that the film was one of the funniest films of the year and not the "oh shit we're doomed" message the film is trying to impart. (On the other hand I'm very aware that I remembers the laughs more than the message so I'm more aware of the message)
The film follows the activists known as the Yes Men,Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum over several years as they try to to get the point that global warming is happening and is a danger to all of us across to the public so that they can force changes by the governments. We also follow the ebbs and flows in their relationships in their lives and with each other.
The Yes Men are wickedly funny guys. With both of them egging each other on they do some crazy stuff like unveiling these weird pods to keep you safe when the waters rise to high after the glaciers melt (or if you're bounced down the steps of the US Capital Building), pretend to be from the US Chamber of Commerce and hold a press conference, give a polar bear (two guys in a suit) to a zoo in Denmark or stage a big party to celebrate Shell's arctic drilling that goes horribly wrong (as Shell's drilling did). Their exploits are so crazy that you can't believe that they got away with them in real life- I mean the whole thing feels like a silly movie...
Except it's not.
And that's the one problem with the film which is that the silliness of what they do kind distracts from their message. Yes, I know there is a problem with climate change, and yes I get it slightly better after seeing this film, but at the same time sitting here several hours after I saw the film I'm remembering the laughter more than I'm remembering about carbon or climate imbalances or that the Shell Arctic drillers failed or the sludge fields in Canada. To me I remember the survival pods, the polar bear and the misfiring drinks dispenser.
Don't get me wrong this is a great movie and I highly recommend it, I just don't know how many minds they are going to change.
On the other hand any movement away from the brink is a good thing so if some minds are changed and others are at least set in motion to consider changing then the film has served it's purpose.
Ultimately whether you see the film for the message or the humor you'll be seeing a great film.
The film hits VOD today.
It then plays at the IFC Center in New York Friday with the Yes Men and director Laura Nix in attendance. as well as starting a regular theatrical run.
The film opens at the Arena Theater in LA next week.
For more information on the Human Rights Watch screening go here/