In Silvio Berlusconi's Italy, if you're not on television, you're nobody. In VIDEOCRACY, director Erik Gandini reveals the seedy underbelly of the country's high-glitz, lowbrow, celebrity-obsessed culture promulgated by the near-monopoly of Berlusconi's media empire. Gandini gains unparalleled access to the halls of power, following a fascistic TV agent, narcissistic paparazzi, glassy-eyed reality "stars," and the young men and scantily-clad women auditioning to debase themselves on camera. All yearn to be FOB (friends of Berlusconi), from the "Italian Van Damme" to whit-suited billionaires, eager to please the president by actively shaping public opinion to his financial and political benefit. Utilizing a wide variety of damning footage, including a trivia show striptease, local TV girl auditions (they dance but are not allowed to talk), and a garish election campaign video ("Thank God for Silvio"), Gandini proves that Italy invests new meaning in the term "boob tube."
"Brilliantly pulled off...a documentary horror sci-fi set in the present." - Screen International
FIVE STARS - Time out NY
Videocracy makes spooky comedy of a nation’s addiction to fame. - The Boston Globe
Pulsing with incredulity and dread, it's less a fully developed argument than the seed of one. The central notion — the power of the image — is old but ever-relevant, and the particular players in this telling are the stuff of a satirist's dream. - The LA Times
Videocracy is a queasy-funny and unapologetically biased look at the televisual world that the Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has created." - The New York Times
BEST DOCUMENTARY -
World Premiere - Venice Film Festival 2009