A documentary by Craig Scott Rosebraugh. Rated G.
In one of the many stunning moments littered throughout Greedy Lying Bastards, a crisp animated graphic is used to demonstrate the sinister feedback loop that allowed the Koch brothers and the U.S. Supreme Court to put a final bullet in American democracy. In the end, it was a slew of Koch-financed cutouts like the Federalist Society and the Cato Institute—with Judge Clarence Thomas visibly in their pocket—who achieved a notorious, corporate-favourable campaign-financing amendment in 2010.
It’s a moment as tragic as any that has been documented more and more aggressively since The Corporation hit theatres in 2003. If nothing else, the accelerating global crisis we all face—part political, part environmental—has bequeathed a powerful body of documentary filmmaking.
The focus of Greedy Lying Bastards is largely on the way climate change has been rendered into an unwinnable “debate” by ultraconservative groups with seemingly unlimited clout. The horrifying part is seeing the success of denialist campaigns run by buffoons like Myron Ebell or Lord Christopher Monckton, an upper-class twit of such grotesque and proud stupidity that he should have been invented by the Monty Python crew.
Presented in Michael Moore guerilla style by filmmaker Craig Scott Rosebraugh, the film offers a slam-dunk case against the retrograde forces we’re up against—especially when he crashes a shareholders’ conference and gets ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to admit that climate change is real.
To what end he does any of this is up to us. But the recent exploits of executive producer Daryl Hannah at the gates of the White House at least indicate that the righteous folk behind Greedy Lying Bastards are willing to add some action to their admirably direct words.