The Yes Men Are Revolting

Watch The Yes Men Are Revolting

  • NR
  • 2015
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 6.7  (788)
  • 61

The Yes Men Are Revolting is an edgy and thought-provoking documentary that follows the journey of two anti-corporate activists and their team as they stage public hoaxes and stunts to expose the dark side of globalization, climate change, and social justice. Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum, also known as The Yes Men, have been using their trademark impersonation tactics for over two decades to subvert mainstream media and challenge the status quo, with the goal of inspiring people to take action and create change.

The film starts by showing the personal struggles of the two protagonists, who are now in their 40s and have families to support. They are facing burnout and doubts about the effectiveness of their methods, given the magnitude of the issues they are confronting. The filmmakers make a conscious effort to humanize the activists and show the toll that their work takes on their bodies, relationships, and mental health. Bonanno shares his experience of being arrested and detained in Canada for his activism, while Bichlbaum reveals his father's battle with Alzheimer's disease and how it has affected his motivation.

Despite these challenges, The Yes Men are determined to continue their mission, and the film follows them as they organize various actions, from staging a fake press conference about a phony climate change solution to distributing fake newspapers in New York City that feature alternative news and advertisements. The scenes are often hilarious and absurd, as the activists adopt personas such as a spoof Shell Oil representative or a mock Halliburton executive, and interact with unsuspecting journalists and audiences who believe their propaganda. The film invites viewers to question their assumptions about media literacy and corporate power, and highlights the importance of humor as a weapon against tyranny and apathy.

However, the film also confronts the limits of activism and the dilemmas of privilege and intersectionality. Bonanno and Bichlbaum acknowledge that their tactics may not resonate with everyone, and that their activism may be seen as an expression of their privilege, as they are able to travel and have access to technology that many people do not. They also reckon with their own biases and blind spots when it comes to issues such as race, gender, and class, and how these intersect with their activism. A poignant moment in the film shows them working with Benadette Chandia Kodili, a Ugandan climate activist who challenges their assumptions about the impact of their actions and the need for global solidarity.

In addition to following their public actions, the film also delves into the personal lives of the protagonists and their families, as they grapple with the implications of their work for their loved ones. Bonanno's wife becomes pregnant and he struggles with balancing his activism with his responsibilities as a father, while Bichlbaum's partner questions whether the risks they are taking are worth it. These intimate moments add emotional depth and nuance to the film, and make the activists more relatable and sympathetic.

Overall, The Yes Men Are Revolting is a thought-provoking and entertaining documentary that combines humor, activism, and personal storytelling to explore urgent global issues. It offers a critical reflection on the role of art and performance in social change, and challenges viewers to take action in their own lives. Whether you are a seasoned activist or a curious bystander, this film will make you laugh, learn, and question the world around you.

The Yes Men Are Revolting is a 2015 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 61.

The Yes Men Are Revolting
Where to Watch The Yes Men Are Revolting
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (788)
  • Metascore