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Citizen Koch (2013)

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A documentary that follows the money behind the rise of the Tea Party.




1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself - Founder, Americans for Prosperity
Charles G. Koch ...
Himself - Founder, Americans for Prosperity
Scott Walker ...
Himself - Governor, Wisconsin
Floyd Abrams ...
Himself - Argued in Support of Citizens United
Ellen Weintraub ...
Herself - Chair, Federal Election Commission
Trevor Potter ...
Himself - Former Chair, Federal Election Commission
Russ Feingold ...
Himself - Former Senator, Wisconsin
Bob Edgar ...
Himself - Former Representative, Pennsylvania
Buddy Roemer ...
Himself - Former Governor, Louisiana
Mike McCabe ...
Himself - Executive Director, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Lee Fang ...
Himself - Author, The Machine: A Field Guide to the Resurgent Right
Peter Barca ...
Himself - State Representative, Wisconsin
Jon Erpenbach ...
Himself - State Senator, Wisconsin
Mari Jo Kabat ...
Herself - Public School Worker
Brian Cunningham ...
Himself - Correctional Officer


When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stripped state workers of their union rights in 2011, was it simply a classic face-off between labor and management, or a bold political move designed to weaken his party's political opposition? Set against the rise of the Tea Party and Occupy movements, the US Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in Citizens United, and the 2012 presidential campaign, Citizen Koch documents the consequences for democracy when private interests determine who is elected to deliver public good. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A hundred million ways to stick it to you.


Documentary | Drama



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Release Date:

January 2013 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,200 (USA) (6 June 2014)


$153,908 (USA) (25 July 2014)

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Production Co:

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Did You Know?


PBS was originally set to air this documentary, but reports indicate that David Koch intervened with its broadcast after having a negative reaction to another documentary the network aired called Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream (2012), which was also critical of him. See more »


Featured in What Is Cinema? (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Weak Documentary that Tells You Nothing about the Koch Brothers
8 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Citizen Koch has received some hype based on the fact that PBS refused to air it, reportedly for fear of offending contributor David Koch. Although I cannot discount the possibility of Koch suppressing the film, after having seen the film, it seems just as likely that the film was dumped for poor quality.

Simply put, this film tells you nothing about the Koch Brothers that someone interested enough to watch it would not already know. The Koch Brothers don't even appear in the film that much, figuring in perhaps fifteen minutes of an hour and a half film. Rather than an expose of the Koch Brothers, it is a generalized rant against money in politics, mostly focusing on Wisconsin.

All too often, Citizen Koch fails to explore potentially interesting avenues of investigation. For instance, at one point, the film mentions that the brothers' father was the founder of the extremist John Birch Society. In a better documentary, the filmmakers would have explored their father's influence on them. Are the Koch Brothers still involved in the Society? You can't tell from watching this.

Instead, we get seemingly endless interviews with ordinary Wisconsinites expressing their disapproval of Scott Walker. Most of this will be familiar to anyone even remotely interested in politics. The only twist the filmmakers bring is that they make a point of featuring disgruntled working class Republicans, showing that money in politics is not just a liberal issue. It is open to question how receptive the film's target audience was to this message, though. At the screening I attended, a number of audience members laughed at the thought of a working class Republican.

17 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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