TIFF 2014: The Yes Men Are Revolting Review

The Yes Men Are Revolting

TIFF Docs

Director Laura Nix and The Yes Men tackle climate change in their latest documentary, The Yes Men Are Revolting. The duo of Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonnano, activists cum pranksters who stage phony press conferences, impersonate executives and commit various forms of fraud all in the name of denouncing big business and the powers-that-be.

This film, a sequel to The Yes Men and The Yes Men Fix the World, follows the guys as they direct their attention to climate change. They begin by staging a demonstration across the river from the United Nations building in New York by gathering volunteers to wear bizarre “Survivor Balls” which look like a cross between those oversized sumo-suits and some form of plankton. As the film proceeds, they find themselves meeting activists in Uganda, at a climate summit in Copenhagen, at the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and doing something odd involving a polar bear in Amsterdam. Between stunts, we learn a bit more about the men behind the gags, and gather something of what it is like to be an aging activist in a changing world.

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The Yes Men Are Revolting

The issues the Yes Men are revolting over are important, and the film is too disjointed and superficial to give either the issues or the Yes Men the proper treatment they deserve. The film proceeds mindlessly from one city and one protest to another, with no cohesion. The most interesting components, the backstories of the Yes Men and their struggles as activists, are treated as footnotes and filler material. The stunts are hilarious, but the tone of the film was too blasé to contend with climate change. Bright graphics, silly names and funny wigs simply aren’t enough to inspire me to join this movement, or to see this film again. (Cameron Bryant)

Screens

Friday, September 5th, 8:45pm, Scotiabank 2

Sunday, September 7th, 2:00pm, Scotiabank 14

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Friday, September 12th, 9:15pm, Scotiabank 4


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Thanks to SPiN TORONTO for sponsoring our TIFF 2014 coverage.

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