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NZIFF - Merchants of Doubt

NZIFF - Merchants of Doubt

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  • Fri 21 Aug ’15, 2:00pm
  • Sat 22 Aug ’15, 10:15am
  • Sun 23 Aug ’15, 1:30pm


Hoyts Northlands, Northlands Shopping Centre, Main North Rd, Papanui, Christchurch


All Ages

Scoring its points through clearly stated arguments and pithy humour, Merchants of Doubt examines the methods corporations use to stymie political actions that would be good for public health, but bad for their bottom lines.

Merchants of Doubt, based on the book of the same name, shines its light on corporate public relations strategies for undermining inconvenient scientific research. Should you embark on a career in science in the 21st century, this film suggests you may need a thick hide if your research places human welfare ahead of corporate profit. Your every conclusion may be countered by a pseudo-expert granted equal media time to provide ‘balance’. Don’t be surprised if you are called an elitist, seeking to deprive ordinary citizens of the right to choose. These tactics and more, as revealed in the thousands of documents leaked to anti-tobacco crusader Stanton Glantz, enabled the tobacco industry to maintain for decades that science was inconclusive about smoking when their own researchers had told them the opposite. It seems clear that those documents have now served as the blueprint for the orchestrated denial of human-generated climate change. Utilising card-sharp con artistry as its ruling metaphor, Robert Kenner’s richly storied film draws its most vivid testimony from two reformed skeptics – and one extremely voluble, unrepentant spinner.

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