But his film, which opens in New York today (with upcoming screenings in Hollywood and San Francisco and a DVD release planned), is an altogether
eye-opening, comprehensive look at the sinister side of a corporately "programmed" nation, with interview subjects ranging from media expert Mark
Crispin Miller to Queensryche singer Geoff Tate.
Here, the filmmaker shares his thoughts on the challenges of getting his views out there against imposing odds.
What inspired you to tackle such an ambitious subject on film, with so many interviews?
I think what really got me going on this whole subject matter was [the period immediately] after 9/11. That was kind of the catalyst for me, seeing how
the mainstream media and the Bush Administration were beating the drum to go to war against Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Don't get me wrong: I didn't like
Saddam Hussein any better than anyone, but I still didn't think that Iraq was involved in 9/11. There's no evidence that they were involved in
terrorism against the United States and it's been proven that they never had weapons of mass destruction. … [In making the movie] we faced a lot
of challenges. I thought [the subject] was important for people, especially after I learned how much manipulation is going on in the media. I just felt
it was really, really vital for me to get this film done and out.
When Mitt Romney openly opines that "corporations are people," and others share his pro-corporate ideology, how do you make this message resonate?
It's challenging to really get your message out there when you're up against such big corporations and companies that are sending a totally opposite
message. … I don't think it's hopeless. I think it's a very, very tough struggle. That's the problem. They want to give you this sense that it's
hopeless. So I'm this one guy, what can I do? If we all think that, then yeah nothing can get done, but I think there's a problem in that. … To
reach the goal [of fighting back against corporate dominance], what we really need to do is come together more. Turn off our TVs. We need to join
community groups, come together as people and really look at the issues that are important and that need to be addressed. That's the only way we can
What do you say to people who might claim not to care about being deceived by advertisers and believe that to be American essentially means having
the ability to consume what you want when you want it?
That's the general outlook. Most people are in denial of this because as long as, "Hey I'm comfortable. I have what I need and my family [is]
well-taken care of, I don't really give a damn about any of these issues." That is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome. The problem is that kind of
mentality, it's ingrained in America, right? It's [a] byproduct of the holes in our souls in a lot of ways. And so this "me, me, me, more, more, more"
can only work for so long. And you see what's happened with the economy as a result of this kind of belief system. I do have a lot of hope, I do have a
lot of optimism, but at the same time it may take for things to get a little worse, or even a lot worse, before they're going to get better. Before
people finally wake up and start addressing some of this. I guess maybe I'm trying to get the message out there before it reaches that point, but that
may not be possible. I don't know.