Director: Carl Deal, Tia Lessin
- 2013 Sundance Film Festival
- 2012 Sundance Documentary Film Grant
The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 lifted a century-long ban on restricted corporate election spending, unleashing a new era of unbridled special-interest campaign finance. Citizen Koch examines the mushrooming struggle between money and democracy through the dramatic lens of the 2011 standoff in Wisconsin when Governor Scott Walker, bankrolled by out-of-state billionaires, stripped state employees of their union rights.
Among a million outraged Wisconsinites, we meet individuals struggling with their Republican political loyalties as they decide whether to join the grassroots-fueled recall of Walker, a GOP rising star and Tea Party favorite. Meanwhile, on a national level, former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer watches his Republican presidential campaign fizzle as he refuses, on principle, donations of more than a hundred dollars and gets outspent and drowned out by Super PAC–funded opponents. Combining intimate vérité scenes and a big-picture–style investigative exposé, Citizen Koch probes behind the headlines to penetrate one of the core issues of our time: Who really has the power in America—private donors or the voting public?
(Archives note: see also Carl Deal and Tia Lessin's Meet The Artist interview on our YouTube Channel.)
Screening Details2013 Sundance Film Festival
- Section: U.S. Documentary Competition
- Film Type: U.S. Documentary Feature Films
- Country: U.S.A.
- Run Time: 100 min.