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Surplus: Terrorized into being consumers by Gandini, Erik

Has director Gandini been using a crystal ball in order to make this award winning 2003 documentary film? Surplus gives a clear prognosis of the contemporary economic crisis and is a treat for critical minds. Images of George Bush, Fidel Castro and Microsofts Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer are combined with controversial statements of anti-capitalist and anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan. An interesting twist is given by the cleverly edited music, lip dubs and sound bites, used as playful references towards commercials predominating the Western consumerist society.

Economic Interest
On one hand, the film shows the contemporary consumer society, but on the other hand the viewer is drawn towards the world of protests and anti-consumerism. Communist Cuba is shown as an antithesis of the Western countries with the highest Gross domestic product. Surplus furthermore criticizes corporations such as Microsoft, and the bizarre production of Real Dolls.

Political Relevance
Surplus discusses the G8 forum and the violent anti-globalization movement protests in Genoa, 2001. Furthermore, the film stresses the differences between the policies of George Bush and Fidel Castro concerning consumption and the global market.


- First prize at the 2003 IDFA Amsterdam Silver Wolf Competition.
- Nominated for the 2003 Guldbagge as best documentary film.
- Award best use of sound and music at the 2004 One World Film Festival, Prague Czech Republic.
- First prize as Greatest of all productions at 2004 FICA, the International Festival of Environmental Film, Goias, Brazil.
- Audience Award at Vila do Conte, International Short Film Festival , Portugal, July 2004.

Gandini, Erik
Copyright Holder
Atmo Films
52 min.
Year of release

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