By Betty Carpick
Taking personal action to shake up the debate on the immense global challenge of climate change, Arctic oil, and corporate greed requires commitment, resilience, and imagination. Through tactical satirical approaches like “identity correction” (impersonation) and “spin” (politically engaged, media savvy cons), the culture-jamming global warming activists Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno have raised international awareness about problematic social issues. They’ve used film as a means of expressing, documenting, and mobilizing their escapades. They are recognized internationally as the Yes Men but have both endured setbacks, lawsuit threats, and the occasional heartbreak.
The Yes Men documentary series began with The Yes Men in 2003 and was followed by The Yes Men Fix the World in 2009. The latest film in the trilogy, The Yes Men Are Revolting (2014) continues to chronicle the antics of the two pranksters. Co-produced by Laura Nix, Jacques Servin (Bichlbaum), and Igor Vamos (Bonanno), the 90-minute film features the usual pile-up of stunts and animations.
However, after 15 years as saboteurs, the protagonists also question whether their work is making an impact. And, as the clever manipulators that they are, the Yes Men answer their own question straight up by encouraging every viewer of the film series to get involved in the struggle.Come to the Thunder Bay screening of The Yes Men Are Revolting; get involved because, yes, you can. It really is that simple.
The Yes Men Are Revolting screens Thursday, April 23 at 8 pm. Bay Street Film Festival’s Docs on Bay are monthly screenings at 314 Bay Street (above the Hoito). Tickets are $8 or pay what you can. Visit baystreetfilmfestival.ca for more information.