"That is not violence. Sitting there doing dope and watching MTV . Then you go and get a job. Just schlep along. To me that is violence," says Zerzan. "We are terrorized into being consumers."
Sunday 21st March 7:30 pm at the Packhorse, Woodhouse Lane
colour, 35mm, 52 min.
Editing: Johan Söderberg
Music: David Österberg, Johan Söderberg
Photography: Lukas Eisenhauer, Carl Nilsson
Production: Erik Gandini
Director: Erik Gandini
Sound: David Österberg
Anti-globalisation guru John Zerzan considers the advertising spot the most powerful weapon of communication humankind has ever invented. In thirty seconds, the receiver of any given message is reduced into a docile consumption slave, one who must believe that buying things is soul-saving. Zerzan proposes that the destruction of fast-food restaurants and chain stores is only a reaction to violence: ‘We are terrorised into being consumers’.
SURPLUS is an attempt to regain our humanity, to get the consumption slaves of the First World to think about the consequences of our actions. To figure out how an elite group which makes up only one-fifth of the world’s population gives itself permission to use up four-fifths of the planet’s natural resources. To this end, SURPLUS mimics the use of the same techniques as a television ad: a manipulative collage of sound and image, full of suggestive repetition. With an ironic wink, sound bites like ‘people don’t shop’, ‘I love this company’ and ‘property damage’ criss-cross the lips of Bush, Berlusconi, Chirac, Putin and Castro, in many cases wrenched from one context into a new meaning. Through them, the filmmaker interlaces abstract images of the waste produced by our modern consumer society: mounds of discarded car tires and cans. Connection is made by conversations with world citizens: a dealer in expensive high-quality sex dolls, an Internet millionaire for whom spending money is a full day’s work, a poor Cuban woman gaping at Western super-abundance. The film creates an essential global montage, vibrant is its viewing.