You may have been ecstatic to hear that Dow will be compensating Bhopa 12 billion dollars for their 1984 chemical catastrophe.

Or that HUD would reopen public housing facilities that had been closed since Hurricane Katrina.

Then you probably hit the roof when news leaked that Canada--Colossal Fossil Award winner--will be reducing their carbon emissions to 40 per cent below 1990-levels by 2020.

Then your dreams were thoroughly crushed when you discovered them to be, as HUD called them, "a cruel hoax.” But don’t let your heart sink too deep; these “childish pranks” (as called by Stephen Harper) were the brainchild of spoof masterminds Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno--a.k.a. The Yes Men--who tactically raise awareness for such global issues.

Their upcoming film, The Yes Men Fix the World chronicles their adventures as they deliver a satirical address in front of government and corporate agents, shielded by only their aliases.

“What we’re doing is just a tiny part in social mobilising to change government policy,” Bonanno, Associate Professor of Media Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, tells the newspaper. “We hope our audience is encouraged to get out of their seats and onto the streets to put pressure on their government to make things happen.”

Such are the aims of this hilarious new documentary that the men themselves describe as a fusion of Sacha Baron Cohen and Michael Moore.

One perplexing Monday, December 14, the world took note of a deceptive press release from “Environment Canada,” claiming that Canada would make a U-turn on its climate change position from their disregard of the Kyoto Protocol.

Orchestrated by the Yes Men in conjunction with Actionlive and activists from Canada, Denmark, Uganda, among other countries, this news lead a series of false congratulations and denials, spinning the heads of journalists everywhere looking for truth. The false hope was intended to raise awareness over Canada’s climate debt.

“Canada should be a leader in making sound environmental judgments, as to secure the future for everyone on the planet,” says Bonanno.

“There’s still a colonial mindset about what someone of the slums in India, suffering from the effects of a large catastrophe, might feel or think,” says Bonanno, referring to the aftermath of the Bhopa Disaster. “The people there know who to blame, and it’s definitely not us.”

The Yes Men may have only let down the residents of Bhopa briefly, but one who holds their grudge is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who is suing them for impersonation, or what Bonanno and Bichlbaum calls “identity correction.”

“It’s hilarious because the largest lobbying organization in the world is taking us to court,” laughed Bonanno, winking at where their next movie material may lie.

Whatever the verdict, The Yes Men Fix the World hits Canada Square Cinemas on January 29 and won’t fail to disappoint.

You can hit them at challenge.theyesmen.org or visit their movie website: theyesmenfixtheworld.com.

Additional Info

  • Subtitle: Yes Men don't take no for an answer
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