Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers

Why is the lifestyle of consumerism a source of such rage today? How come the privilege of buying goods does not automatically lead to happiness? Why all this emptiness despite our wealth?

Erik Gandini’s approach through Surplus is to portray this issue from an emotional rather than a factual perspective.

Shot in the US, India, China, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Canada and Cuba during three years. Surplus is the result of a complicated editing process by talented music composer/editor/percussionist Johan Söderberg.

George W Bush’s famous ”shopping-speech” calling for a war against terrorism that deters the nation from the fear of consumption. Castro responding with hymns to the anti-consumerist, advertising-free island of Cuba. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer preaching that the computer will give us peace on earth ”bringing people together” while Adbuster Kalle Lasn warns that advertising pollutes us mentally, that over-consumption is unsustainable and that we are running out of oil.

Surplus main man is John Zerzan, controversial philosopher whose call for property damage has inspired many to take to the streets.

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  1. Wow! I can’t believe you guys got this montage on your site! I saw this in 2005 and to this day it is still one of my all time favorite videos.

    I.. LOVE.. This.. COMPANY.. YEEEAAHHH!!!

  2. Aside from the fact that this documentary could have been halved in duration if repetitions were taken out, this was great! But then again, I’m probably only worried about time because I live in a capitalist world where “time is money” and maybe I shouldn’t complain but just shut the f up, sit back, enjoy the funky ass music mixing. Cool and valid documentary – quite a unique feel. 


  4. Cool documentary but the way they repeated every other phrase was so annoying >__<

  5. Iam not against the idea of comunism, but in Cuba the people are not free to leave the country or think diferent. The rooling class like in the old URSS or north Corea do not live by the mayority standard, they live completely above normal imitating worlds high class living, so as its shown in the Doc the 80% works so the 20% can have a high standard o living. If the borders of Cuba were really open to cross for the cubans will see how much people supports the regime. 

  6. Yes, people must disassociate wealth and capital from happiness and success. But advocating property destruction in order to be heard?  I dont think Gandhi’s or Martin Luther Kings successes were ever from flipping cars over.