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Ethos (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 10 February 2011 (USA)
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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Justin Lewis ...
Himself - Author, Constructing Public Opinion
Bill Hogan ...
Himself - The Center for Public Integrity
...
Himself - Professor, MIT
Tony Benn ...
Himself - Veteran British Parliament
...
Himself - Author & Historian
Ray Anderson ...
Himself - CEO Interface
Samuel Epstein ...
Himself - Professor of Environmental Medicine
Jane Akre ...
Herself - Investigative Reporter
Robert Monks ...
Himself - Corporate Governance Advisor
Sam Gibara ...
Himself - Chairman, Former CEO Goodyear
Ira Jackson ...
Himself - Director, Center for Business and Government, Harvard University
Pat Jackson ...
Himself - Colleague of Edward Bernays
Peter Levy ...
Himself - Employee of Edward Bernays
Ann Bernays ...
Herself - Daughter of Edward Bernays (as Anne Bernays)
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Political Documentary, Woody Harrelson, Ethos

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

10 February 2011 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Woody Harrelson - 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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Features Hardball with Chris Matthews (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Half A Million Dollars For A Tin Foil Hat !
4 April 2014 | by See all my reviews

According to the IMDb this documentary cost $500,000 . I wonder where the money spent on it went ? Reading some of the user comments it seems that it's basically a few segments from other documentaries so where'd the money go ? Was it Woody Harrelson's appearance fee ? Did it go to other documentary makers for using their clips ? Or did it go to copyright lawyers who sued Peter McGrain for using their clients documentary without their permission ? I think we should be told

As it is ETHOS is one of these documentaries screaming at their audience that democracy isn't all it's cracked up to be and that capitalism is a rather amoral economic system . Next thing you know you'll be watching an earth shattering documentary that the Pope is Catholic and bears poo in a wood . It's vaguely structured in to several segments

1 ) We don't live in a democracy . As you might expect big names like Noam Chomsky and Tony Benn are wheeled out . Well not wheeled out per se because they appear in clips from other interviews they gave to other interviewers . Tony Benn by the way died recently and people on the political left like Michael Foot had nothing good to say about him when he was alive and other people on the left like Denis Healy and Neil Kinnock have nothing good to say about him now that he's dead . There's also a very obvious blunder at the start when a speaker says both the Democrats and the Republicans want to keep Cold War defence spending but this laughably untrue . Obama just a couple of weeks ago announced future defence cuts that will see the US Army lose 70,000 soldiers . With these cuts the American military will shrink to its lowest figure since 1941 . Are we to honestly believe American defence budgets in the 2020s will be similar to that of the 1960s when America was involved in Vietnam ?

2 ) Corporate companies in order to gain control of "the Earth's resources is the cause of so much wars in the world today as you will see " Except we don't get to see these wars . I don't think Iraq would have got invaded by an Anglo-American coalition if it didn't have oil but if you're making multiple claims it helps if you give a few examples

3 ) The media are controlled by these unseen corporate forces . Really ? Funny how if these unseen corporate all powerful companies are controlling the media it seems that they're unable to stop the dislike of corporate capitalism amongst the public . Apparently this marketing media know what buttons to push in order to make us buy a product ! Wow that must be why I've spent a fortune on tampons

And so this documentary continues . Or to be more accurate this " documentary " continues stealing another clip from someone elses documentary in an barely disguised attempt to get us all to buy a tin foil helmet . One even starts to feel sorry for Harrelson as he spouts out another dubious theory and one wonders if he's been told the whole truth and was told he was hosting a socially conscious , environmentally friendly documentary rather than a loony conspiracy theory that this deranged pseudo documentary is . Mind you if someone gave me $500,000 I'd probably do the same - without spending a penny on tin foil hats


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