A documentary is finally about to see the light of day, after being defunded and subject to de facto censorship thanks to the influence of billionaire David Koch of Koch Industries. Tia Lessin and Carl Deal’s Citizen Koch examines how the billionaire Koch brothers used to wealth to exert influence in Wisconsin amid staggering union protests and a near-recall of its corporate-friendly governor.
The film provides an in-depth look into “KochWorld,” or the “Kochtopus,” or whatever you’d like to call Charles and David Koch’s vast political apparatus that allows them to coordinate hundreds of millions of dollars to pour into a secretive network of political front groups, which then implement campaigns to promote the business priorities of Koch Industries or the ideological preferences of its billionaire brother owners.
The defunding of Citizen Koch is one chapter of a saga that uncovered how PBS affiliates have bent over backwards to accommodate billionaire donor and board member David Koch, who didn’t appreciate Alex Gibney’s Park Avenue, a film critical of Mr. Koch and some other of America’s wealthiest people that aired on PBS stations. David Koch has since disassociated from New York’s WNET station, though Koch is a trustee of WGBH–Boston’s PBS affiliate. Groups like Forecast the Facts have protested Koch’s presence on the WGBH board.
Following PBS’ unusual arrangment to let Koch Industries influence the debut of Gibney’s Park Avenue, Lessin and Deal’s Citizen Koch suddenly found itself hung out to dry by the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Apparently, public television officials felt so pressured by Koch Industries and so eager for continued large donations from executive David Koch that ITVS suddenly and unceremoniously dropped its planned financial support for Citizen Koch. This was after early indications that ITVS was excited to support the film.
Despite David Koch’s success in intimidating PBS and ITVS to renege their support for Citizen Koch, the filmmakers used the controversy to successfully crowd-source the necessary funds to finish and promote the film. Citizen Koch kicks off tonight at New York City’s IFC Center.
|Opening||Theater||SHOWTIMES and TICKETS*|
|June 6||New York, NY||IFC Center||www.ifccenter.com/films/
|June 11||Ann Arbor, MI||Michigan Theatre||www.michtheater.org/shows/
|Sturtevant, WI||Marcus Renaissance|
|June 13||Detroit, MI||Cinema Detroit||http://cinemadetroit.com/2014/
|Chicago, IL||Gene Siskel Film Center||http://genesiskelfilmcenter.
|Huntington, NY||Cinema Arts Centre|
|Madison, WI||Sundance Cinemas||www.sundancecinemas.com/?
|Milwaukee, WI||Landmark Downer Theater||www.landmarktheatres.com/
|Muskegon, MI||Harbor Cinema||www.harborshowtimes.com/|
|Rochester, NY||Little Theatre|
|June 20||Arlington, VA||AMC Loews Shirlington 7|
|Boston, MA||Brattle Theatre||http://www.brattlefilm.org/
|Columbus, OH||Gateway Film Center|
|Santa Fe, NM||CCA Cinematheque||http://ccasantafe.org/
|Albuquerque, NM||Guild Cinema|
|Scottsdale, AZ||Harkins Camelview||http://www.harkinstheatres.
|St. Louis, MO||Webster U Film Series||http://www.webster.edu/film-
|Washington, DC||West End Cinema|
|Missoula, MT||Roxy Theater||http://www.theroxytheater.org/
|June 27||Los Angeles, CA||Sundance Sunset|
|Los Angeles, CA||Laemmle Royal|
|Pasadena, CA||Laemmle Playhouse 7|
|Encino, CA||Laemmle Town Center 5|
|Seattle, WA||Sundance Cinemas|
|San Diego, CA||Gaslamp Cinemas|
|San Jose, CA||Cinema 3 Downtown|
|San Francisco, CA||Landmark Shattuck|
|Berkeley, CA||Landmark Opera Plaza|
|Denver, CO||Sie FIlmCenter|
|New Orleans, LA||Zeitgeist Arts Center|
|Houston, TX||Sundance Cinemas|
|Santa Ana, CA||South Coast Village|
|Hartford, CT||Real Art Ways|
Check Greenpeace.org for more Koch Facts.