New film shows pranksters battling companies

Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:44am EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jacques Servin fooled the BBC and the world when he posed as a Dow Chemical spokesman five years ago and said that Dow would pay billions of dollars in compensation for India's Bhopal disaster.

Such hoaxes by Servin and his partner, Igor Vamos, better known as the American protest group "The Yes Men," are featured in a documentary premiering on U.S. cable channel HBO on Monday.

"The Yes Men Fix The World" chronicles their efforts to lampoon what they see as corporate greed and the excesses of a free-market economy. It won the audience award at this year's Berlin film festival and will hit U.S. cinemas in October.

"It's a bit like if you crossed Sacha Baron Cohen with Michael Moore," Vamos told Reuters in a recent interview of their stunts in which they portray corporate or government representatives and infiltrate press and trade conferences to make fake announcements.

Vamos, 41, better known as Mike Bonanno, and Servin, 45, who uses the name Andy Bichlbaum among many other aliases, rely on humor to point out corporate and government irresponsibility.

"We have prioritized profit pretty much over everything else and we have seen the results," said Servin. "We are seeing it on Wall Street, with millions of people losing their homes and we are starting to see the results of that globally with climate change."


Several companies said the stunts are a serious offense. But Servin and Vamos have never been sued.   Continued...