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Ethos (I) (2011)

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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 625 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 3 critic

Hosted by twice Oscar nominated actor Woody Harrelson, Ethos explores the mechanisms in our systems that work against democracy, the environment and our own personal liberty.



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Title: Ethos (2011)

Ethos (2011) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Credited cast:
Jane Akre ...
Herself - Investigative Reporter
Ray Anderson ...
Himself - CEO Interface
Benjamin Barber ...
Himself - Author of Fear's Empire
Marc Barry ...
Himself - Author of Spooked, Espionage in America
Tony Benn ...
Himself - Veteran British Parliament
Ann Bernays ...
Herself - Daughter of Edward Bernays (as Anne Bernays)
Edward Bernays ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Dan Briody ...
Himself - Author
Herself (archive footage)
Robert Byrd ...
Himself - Senator (archive footage)
Dick Cheney ...
Himself (archive footage)
Connie Chung ...
Herself - CBS News Reporter (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)


This documentary examines the flaws in our systems, and the mechanisms that work against democracy and the environment. From conflicts of interests in politics and unregulated corporate power, to a news media that serves the interests of powerful elites; ETHOS explores the systems that lead us into over consumption and warfare. Too often the media celebrates aspects of our society that belong in the dark ages, while at the same time ignoring or ridiculing progressive thinking or ideas. Many aspects of the way our systems work almost guarantee our destruction as a society and that's what this film is about. Fractured societies, poverty, disparity, pollution, warfare. Is there something inherently wrong with the human race? Is that what we should think of ourselves? We have tried to set up forms of law and government that safeguard the public good. But, if the majority of people want to live in peace and justice in a clean environment and we look around at the world and see that isn't ... Written by Media For Action

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Political Documentary, Woody Harrelson, Ethos





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Release Date:

10 February 2011 (USA)  »

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Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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[first lines]
Himself - Host: Every day we turn on the TV and there's more bad news. Another environmental catastrophe somewhere, or more starving refugees, or innocent victims in war zones. And most of us are busy trying to make ends meet in our own lives, and we see these images and we feel helpless to do anything about it. I think the deep shame we feel about that is paralyzing. Certainly one of the reasons we turn away.
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User Reviews

Nothing original here, only excerpts from other documentaries...
7 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

How do you rate a film like this? As a documentary, it makes a number of relevant points about the biggest problems within the structure of our society. Unfortunately, none of this material is new. Most of it is lifted directly from 2003's excellent documentary, "The Corporation" (, and much is also lifted from "Zeitgeist 2" ( The only thing original to "Ethos" is Woody Harrelson's presence.

As a compilation of sorts, Ethos works fine -- but frankly, I find it a little offensive that this film doesn't announce itself as such. A less informed viewer might assume this film to be wholly original, which would be -- apart from Harrelson's narration -- wholly inaccurate.

Truthfully, you should pass-up "Ethos" and watch "The Corporation" and "Zeitgeist 2" instead. They are better documentaries -- both more informative and more thorough than this one.

Given the dishonest way the film presents itself as something other than a compilation, I can't bring myself to award it more than a single star. But do keep in mind that, as a compilation, "Ethos" does serve as a nice summary of two or three other great documentaries. And, it must be said: Woody Harrelson's presence is seldom a bad thing.

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