Festival Updates My Premiere: THE YES MEN

Writers/directors Mike Bonanno’s and Andy Bichlbaum’s THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD, a film participating in the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

DIRECTORS/ SCREENWRITERS: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno
France/U.S.A., 2008, 90 min., color

The Yes Men are back, but no one saw them coming. After their first film, you would think they had blown their cover, but,to the contrary, they have only stepped up their game. If you don’t know them, they’re Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, a pair of notorious troublemakers who sneak into corporate events disguised as captains of industry. Then they use their momentary authority to expose the biggest criminals on the planet. In THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD, they’ve set their sights on a plethora of man-made disasters, from profiteering after Hurricane Katrina to the environmental disaster in Bhopal.

Initially their antics come across like adolescent pranks, but after further exploration, you discover that Bichlbaum and Bonanno can actually be considered “inside-out activists.” By changing reality—even temporarily—they open your mind to the possible. Sweet dreams for some, a nightmare for corporate Goliaths with skeletons in the closet.

When they present what should have been done, you become acutely aware of how easy it would have been to solve the problem in the first place. A film complete with comedic interludes and, yes, an underwater ballet, The Yes Men Fix the World is as entertaining as it is effective. My only fear is that by the time this film premieres at the Festival, the Yes Men could easily be in jail. See this movie now! —JOHN COOPER