Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers  

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"We cannot let the terrorists achieve the objective of frightening our nation to the point where we don’t conduct business. Where people don’t shop."--George W. Bush, video transcript, October 11, 2001, cited in Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers (2003) by Erik Gandini


"Property damage is not violence. you can't violate a building or a window. it's very different to us than the question of violence."--John Zerzan, , cited in Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers (2003) by Erik Gandini, 3:45

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Surplus: Terrorized Into Being Consumers is a 2003 Swedish documentary film on consumerism and globalization, created by director Erik Gandini and editor Johan Söderberg. It looks at the arguments for capitalism and technology, such as greater efficiency, more time and less work, and argues that these are not being fulfilled, and they never will be. The film leans towards anarcho-primitivist ideology and argues for 'a simple and fulfilling life'.

Surplus overtly uses lip-synching to put words in the mouth of people who hold similar world powering positions. Examples of this are George W. Bush speaking for Adbusters and saying "I want to have a simple and fulfilling life", Fidel Castro mouthing the words of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: "I love this company! Yeah!"

Apart from criticism of capitalism, rationing in communist Cuba is also criticized.

Contents

Plot

Opening

"Las sociedades de consumo destrozaron el medio ambiente, liquidaron millones de especies de plantas y animales, envenenaron los mares, los ríos y los lagos, contaminaron el aire, saturaron la atmósfera de bióxido de carbono y otros gases nocivos, rasgaron la capa de ozono, agotaron yacimientos de petróleo, carbón, gas natural y enormes riquezas de minerales sólidos, exterminaron nuestros bosques y arruinaron los suyos”.
“Para las sociedades superdesarrolladas el problema no es crecer sino distribuir, y no solo distribuir entre ellas, sino distribuir entre todos. El crecimiento sostenible de que se habla es imposible sin una distribución más justa entre todos los países.”
--"Discurso ante la Primera Conferencia Mundial sobre el Desarrollo Sostenible de los Pequeños Estados Insulares en Desarrollo, Barbados, May 5, 1994

John Zerzan

RealDoll

  • RealDoll manufacturer gives a tour of his warehouse, showing the variety and cost of the sex-dolls.

Cuba

  • Mirta Muñes shows the Cuban ration card, Cuban toothpaste.
  • Pre Fidel Speech Parade, Fidel going up to the pulpit.
  • Tania speaks about having gone out of Cuba, amazed by supermarkets, McDonald's, and gaining a lot of weight.

Internet

  • Internet-wealthy Svante says he hates money, feels empty.
  • John Zerzan on emptiness in consumer society.
  • Balmer's monkeyboy dance and then "I love this company" statement intermixed with workers stretching, then Fidel Castro lip-synched to "I love this company".
  • footage from Alang, India where it says 40,000 workers scrap ships to recycle steel.
  • John Zerzan speech saying violent protesting is better than peaceful protesting, intermixed with a car show, and protesting.

New Ethic

  • John Zerzan says corporate property of Starbucks or similar is the main target of his criticism due to being understood as destructive and wiping out freedom and diversity.
  • footage of primitive man.
  • landfills, with conclusion: there is a paradigm shift coming where people will not want corporate products and will desire a simple, fulfilling life. This can be understood ironically.

Credits

Views

It prominently features the views of anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan.

Talking Heads

Criticizes

Style

Surplus uses many montages.

Surplus overtly uses lip-synching to put words in the mouth of people who hold similar world powering positions. Examples of this are George W. Bush speaking for Adbusters, Fidel Castro mouthing the words of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: "I love this company! Yeah!"

Soundtrack listing

  • Gotan Project - "Triptico"
  • Tosca - Orozco
  • Aphrodelics - Aphrodelics – Rollin' on Chrome (Wild Motherfucker dub)
  • Marc O´Sullivan (The Mighty Quark) - Smokescreen
  • Marc O´Sullivan (The Mighty Quark) - Theme from Good People
  • Johan Söderberg and David Österberg - No-tech-no
  • Johan Söderberg and David Österberg - Rice&Beans
  • Johan Söderberg and David Österberg - 18 Miljener

Locations


See also




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