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Ethos (I) (2011)

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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 overview, first billed only:
Himself - Host
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)


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


Political Documentary, Woody Harrelson, Ethos





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Release Date:

10 February 2011 (USA)  »

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$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

Good, But Unfocused
30 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.

Harrelson says "it would be illogical to expect politicians to change a system that puts them in power". True, but only if we accept that the system is so far gone that it cannot be changed. Bernie Sanders is a case in point, showing that (although rare) dissident voices can get into the ring.

Another reviewer says the problem with this documentary is that it is clipped from other documentaries. That does seem to be a problem, on top of Harrelson's desire to suggest conspiracy theories are sometimes real.

The film has a big reliance on Chomsky, including his insights into Bernays and Walter Lippmann. While Chomsky is in here, it seems (like everyone else) his footage was taken from other sources. He would have been more than happy to appear for five minutes to discuss these topics...

5 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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