24 user 4 critic

Surplus: Terrorized Into Being Consumers (2003)

Looks at the arguments for capitalism and technology, such as greater efficiency, more time and less work, and argues that these are not being fulfilled, and they never will be.




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Cast overview:
John Zerzan ... Himself
... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself
Kalle Lasn ... Himself - Adbusters
Matt McMullen ... Himself - RealDoll
... Himself (archive footage)
Tania ... Herself - Cuba
Mirta Muniz ... Herself - Cuba
Svante Tidholm ... Himself


Looks at the arguments for capitalism and technology, such as greater efficiency, more time and less work, and argues that these are not being fulfilled, and they never will be. The film is about our world, the modern civilization that eats more than needed. It's not very much information that is physically showed, its the pictures in symbiosis with music that is the real strength in this flick. It leans towards anarcho-primitivist ideology and argues for a simple and fulfilling life. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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Release Date:

21 November 2003 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Nadprodukcja: Terror konsumpcji  »

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Did You Know?


narrator of Adbusters-spot: The average North American consumes 5 times more than the Mexican, 10 times more than a Chinese person, and 30 times more than a person from India. *BURP!*
See more »


Features Le strade di Genova (2002) See more »


by Johan Söderberg and David Österberg
See more »

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User Reviews

brilliant message and medium
27 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

It was quite a good movie actually, very well put together visually. I would have liked to see more dialogue and maybe a bit more debate going down. Basically what it was a depiction of John Zerzan's claim for a huge dismantling project of consumerism and everything that goes with it. In a way Zerzan (who you can gather is an anarchist, or has anarchist tendencies) is a bit idealistic, he wants us to return to a hunter/gatherer society where everyone lives in peace and happiness.

The doccy has images of loads of speeches (Bush after 9/11, mike Balmer (Microsoft), Blair, Fidel Castro, and loads of others). and includes one (my favourite) where bush goes: "We must not let the terrorists scare people... to the extent where they don't shop." it's brilliantly cut with music and other visuals.

The movie has a bit of a music video feel to it, but that makes it even more "enjoyable", it makes it a bit more accessible to some people who don't really know about protests and wat-have-you. One memorable part was where you have the head of Adbusters speaking, and the visuals are all the hot shot corporates and presidents who are "synched" to his words, brilliantly done!

Another striking thing was where you had Fidel Castro speaking, and he is going on about how Cubans are free and have true democracy and true choice and then they cut to a scene in a shop where there are only about 3 different kinds of shoes and how they ration food and this one chick who went to Europe who was blown away by the bright lights, big city and fast food.

Then it swings back to Zerzan who goes justifies the use of violence at protests infused with images of protests outside G8 meetings. Visually, a brilliant movie, and although I don't agree with a few of Zerzan's means or ends, I do agree the problem(s) he highlights. Politically, also brilliant as it makes the problems easily accessible to the average person who might not know that much about stuff, while I never felt "oh yeah, I know that s***, yawn" even if you don't feel like checking it as a "message movie", the part where they interview sex doll manufacturers is quite funny.

I'd definitely recommend surplus.

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