Greedy Lying Bastards: Film Review

Greedy Lying Bastards Still - H 2013
This forceful documentary deals with the hot-button issue of climate change in powerfully compelling fashion.

Craig Rosebraugh's documentary takes on the corporate titans it claims are responsible for the lack of political action on climate change.

“An inconvenient truth” is far too decorous a term for filmmaker Craig Rosebraugh to employ in his documentary dealing with many of the same climate-change issues as in the film featuring Al Gore. Instead, the none-too-subtly titled Greedy Lying Bastards stakes its positions with an unflinching rage.

Fortunately, the filmmaker has the facts to back up his emotionally charged broadsides, even if many of them will be familiar to the already converted audiences these types of cinematic diatribes attract. Filled with devastating statistics documenting the devastating effects of climate change on the planet, the film takes particular aim at CEOs, or “greedy lying bastards,” of the oil and gas corporations contributing to the crisis.

Not that companies like ExxonMobil are the only villains at which the film takes aim. It also lobbies broadsides against such figures as the Koch brothers, the billionaire corporate titans who have done so much to finance the climate-change denial campaign; Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, seen browbeating various environmental figures, including Gore, in congressional hearings; British pundit and rabid climate-change denier Christopher Monckton; and Fox News pundits past and present, including, naturally, the ever-colorful Glenn Beck.

Featuring footage of natural disasters like the Colorado wildfires and the flooding of such areas as the Alaskan village of Kivalina and the South Pacific islands of Tuvalu caused by rising sea levels, the film unflinchingly takes the position that global warming is the inevitable result of human behavior and not a natural occurrence. That, of course, is the crux of the issue -- the vast majority of people already believe in climate change by now -- and a steady stream of scientist are trotted out to make the case.

Although lacking the cinematic finesse and frequent doses of humor that such filmmakers as Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock bring to their similarly polemical projects, Rosebraugh advances his arguments with undeniable persuasiveness. The sheer volume of damning information, imparted in clear and comprehensive fashion, gives the film a power that might indeed succeed in changing some people’s minds.

Opens: Friday, March 8 (One Earth Productions)
Director: Craig Rosebraugh
Screenwriters: Craig Rosebraugh, Patrick Gambuti, Jr.
Producers: Jeremy Chilvers, Patrick Gambuti, Jr., Craig Rosebraugh, Marianna Yarovskaya
Executive producer: Daryl Hannah
Director of photography: Carl Bartels
Editor: Patrick Gambuti, Jr.
Composer: Michael Brook
Rated PG-13, 90 minutes