Citizen Koch: Another unflattering documentary about Wisconsin hits the big time
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Following a year that saw the surprising ascent of Brad Lichtenstein’s As Goes Janesville and the success of Alex Gibney’s Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God, Wisconsin now has another documentary in its midst. It was recently announced that Citizen Koch has crept its way into the official selection of Sundance 2013. The film details the sordid details of the shady political donors, businessmen, oil magnates, and real-life John Landis movie villains known as the Koch brothers, and their particular interest in recent Wisconsin politics. It’s described as a “story about money, power, and democracy,” with a wider emphasis on the effects of the Citizens United court ruling and the Wisconsin uprising. Or, as Sundance describes it:
Wisconsin—birthplace of the Republican Party, government unions, “cheeseheads” and Paul Ryan—becomes a test market in the campaign to buy Democracy, and ground zero in the battle for the future of the GOP.
Ignoring Sundance’s naive outsider’s perspective of Wisconsin (dig the cheesehead reference, of course), the currently trailer-less Citizen Koch is sure to offer an honest, unpolished portrait of our state at a very vulnerable time in its existence. Maybe it’s telling that the bio felt it necessary to leave out the fact that Wisconsin is also the home of the Progressive Party, labor unions, cheese beer-coozies, and Russ Feingold, but it’s not our job to extrapolate. It’s our job to be optimistic.
Directed by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal (brother of UWM’s very bearded art professor Raoul Deal), Citizen Koch is set to open at Sundance at some point between January 17-27, and will presumably be shown sometime later in Milwaukee, because wouldn’t it be weird if it wasn’t?