Part performance art, part political activism, the feats that the Yes Men pull off in their second DVD release, The Yes Men Fix the World
, are meant to humorously enlighten their audience about corporate greed and stupidity. While their skits take pontificating from a soapbox to a whole new level, duo Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno have a self-deprecating, analytical side that makes their approach slightly less threatening and didactic than that of Michael Moore, the director-activist they bear comparison with. As in Moore's documentary Capitalism: A Love Story
, the Yes Men here also critique what they call the "free-market cult" of businessmen who value the dollar over human life. In their documentary-style film, they chronicle the challenges, successes, and failures of impersonating high-level executives to mockingly infiltrate conservative systems. The film opens with the Yes Men posing as DOW representatives appearing on the BBC to falsely announce that DOW will pay millions in retributions to comfort Indian civilians following an industrial disaster in Bhopal. Next, they sneak into a petroleum-industry conference as Exxon reps introducing candles made of rendered human flesh as alternative fuel sources. To save wealthy future hurricane victims, they fake a meeting in post-Katrina New Orleans to model ridiculous balloon suits for emergency victims and then pose as HUD members announcing that homeless evicted citizens are welcome back into their boarded-up homes. Humor ensues when businessmen accept their proposals de facto, with no questions or sense of the absurd. For each performance, the Yes Men prep, research, and build elaborate presentations, and best, they ready themselves for press that comes after they're exposed as fakes. Their practice is moralistic and controversial, but they feel it is effective for exposing corruption to enact real change. While the film does focus on the Yes Men and their performances, they have ample documentary footage interviewing citizens reacting to their activism. For the most part, rather than taking offense, people understand and band together, illustrating how the Yes Men's desire to work for the common good is rewarded with real human connection. --Trinie Dalton
AMAL, a marvelously acted modern fable, follows an auto-rickshaw driver in New Delhi (Rupinder Nagra) who is content with his small but vital role in life. One day he chauffeurs an eccentric billionaire (G.K. Jayaram) who, disguised as a vagabond, is searching the streets for the last morsel of humanity - and someone he can leave his fortune to - and Amal’s life changes forever.
Un chauffeur de voiture pousse-pousse de New Delhi voit sa vie bouleversée par des rencontres fortuites avec des clients.