Director: Craig Scott Rosebraugh
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Film Pulse Score: 7/10
When you think of political documentaries names like Michael Moore, Errol Morris or Kirby Dick may come to mind. Some documentaries appear to have an agenda like Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. Some lay out the facts and allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions like Dick’s The Invisible War. Craig Rosebraugh’s Greedy Lying Bastards appears to be a hybrid of both. However instead of asking the viewers to draw their own conclusions he’s asking them to take action. With a title like Greedy Lying Bastards you would think this would be nothing more than a smear campaign but it’s not. He clearly lays out the facts and it’s up to the viewer if they wish to do something.
Rosebraugh’s film looks at the lack of action taken by the government and corporations in regards to the climate change crisis. He pulls no punches and just lays it all out. The facts, figures and connections help paint a clearer picture of the muddled mess that is politics. Rosebraugh’s agenda is to discredit the corporations, politicians and Denialists and he does a pretty good job of it. It’s very hard not to be persuaded by what he presents. For example, numerous corporations’ research groups are fronted by lawyers and not by reputable scientists. In another moment, during a meeting a senator is cut off by another who refuses to let him finish. We then learn that that senator received campaign contributions from major fossil fuel organizations. No wonder he wouldn’t let the other senator finish. Rosebraugh shows his cards and literally calls for action at the conclusion of the film. Brazen, absolutely.
One could argue that this documentary is decidedly one sided. However consider the subject matter. Do you really think any Denialist would be willing to participate in this? In one scene, Rosebraugh tries to get an interview with the CEO of a major corporation. He is ignored but manages to get a word in through a share holder’s meeting. The CEO’s answer will not surprise you but will most certainly frustrate you. Money talks is the bottom line.
The documentary may feel like Rosebraugh is “preaching to the choir” especially if you are familiar with or already share his opinions regarding the subject matter. This by no means implies it’s dull but that it does a fine job of consolidating all the facts so it is more clear and concise; which in the end is really all that matters. Understanding the consequences of global warming, climate change and the political and capitalistic problems that come with it is the only way anyone can take any meaningful action to rectify this global problem and that is what Rosebraugh is hoping for.