directed by Dan Ollman, Sarah Price and Chris Smith
USA 2003

 

What began as a joke website, making fun of WTO, World Trading Organization, soon became an opportunity to attack the hypocrisy of the WTO, as the yes-men, were invited to speak on behalf of the WTO.

Using absurd names like Hank Hardy Unruh and Granwyth Hulatberi, they held speeches with even more absurd points, as

The use of child labour further reduces the cost (of production), and removing the children from school diminishes the threat of educated opposition to the system.

If others don’t agree with the economic theories we use, it is a matter of education.

By recycling the feces into new hamburgers, we can combat starvation, reusing a hamburger up to ten times, allowing people to get three times the energy of a normal hamburger.


without anyone catching on to the joke or being offended. Regardless of how immoral and absurd they points were, like controlling workers in poor countries by implants, people listened and never objected, as they after all were “real” spokespersons of the WTO and thus what they had to say was important. The only people who actually objected and become outraged were students, who were test persons for a fake seminar on how to recycle shit into McDonald hamburgers to combat starvation.

Bichlbaum and Bonanno do make points, like that 1% own 80% of the worlds wealth and that poor countries each day lose $2 billion in wealth (14 times the amount they get thru foreign aid) because of the WTO. These are facts and were used during their final prank, at a seminar in Australia, where Unruh announces, that WTO is disbanding itself into a new, more humane, organization. A prank, which was send out to the world in form of 25,000 press releases, which was assumed true, even cited in the Canadian cabinet and bet welcome by both Canada and Australia.

While being perhaps the funniest political documentary ever made, it sadly never goes beyond the jokes and pranks. Apart from a few facts, a commentary by Michael Moore on how the WTO has done nothing for Mexico and a statement at the end (which proves the point of how exploitive WTO is), it's only a recording of Bichlbaum and Bonanno preparing and executing the jokes. And that is the films weakness.

Still, it is disturbing to watch scholars and businessmen accept outrageous racist and immoral ideas, even applauding them. As such, “The Yes Men” is a great documentary and one hell of a laugh.
 

Henrik Sylow

Poster

Theatrical Release: September 7th, 2003

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Tartan - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the Review!

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Distribution

Tartan

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:18:27 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.73:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.59 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital English, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, DTS English
Subtitles No Subtitles
Features Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.73:1

Edition Details:
• Exclusive Directors' Interview (25:29 / 4:3)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (1:36 / 16x9)

DVD Release Date: May 23, 2005
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Chapters 16

 

 

 

 

Comments I have not been able to find any information about the films OAR. But while the US R1 DVD has the AR of 1.85:1, Tartans 1.73:1 is curious. But perhaps the sources mentioning the R1 DVD are wrong. A comparison would in any cases be welcomed.

Shot on digital video, the image is as excepted "grainy" and soft in details.

The sound comes in three mixes, which really doesn't differ that much, but since the film only runs a little over 1 hour, the DTS isn't taking up any space.

Present on the US R1 DVD, but missing on the Tartan, is the audio commentary and some deleted scenes, most likely due to copyright issues. Tartan has however compensated with an exclusive interview with the two "Yes Men". The interview is brilliant. Great questions and good answers, support and expand the message of the film superbly.

 - Henrik Sylow

 

 



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