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// Films // (ASTRO) TURF WARS


Taki Oldham / Australia / 2010 / 91 ' / English


Taki Oldham
Taki Oldham

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How corporate America is faking a grassroots revolution


In Summer 2009, something stirred in America. After Barack Obama and a Democratic congress swept to power promising a new era of hope and change, out of nowhere a citizens protest movement emerged that threatened to derail their agenda. Was this uprising the epitome of grassroots democracy? Or was it, as some said, an example of ‘astroturfing’? That is, the creation of fake grassroots (ie. Astroturf: get it?) groups, designed to put corporate messages in the mouths of seemingly independent citizens.

Fascinated by this concept of astroturfing and curious to find out if these accusations were true, Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham hopped on a plane to investigate. Going undercover as a curious onlooker, his month-long journey took him over 5000 miles, 6 states and right into the heart of the ‘American Dream’.


Acting as investigative journalist, narrator and central character, Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham’s journey to uncover the truth about ‘astroturfing’ forms the central narrative of the story. In order to infiltrate the highly guarded world of public relations front groups, Taki went undercover as a free-market loving Australian university student, creating a fake blog and a fake study grant as part of his cover.


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