Just when you thought there would be a dearth of documentaries this summer that would make your blood boil, along comes Citizen Koch, an angry piece of agitprop that takes aim at Citizens United, Americans for Prosperity, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, and billionaires Charles and David Koch. This documentary is so left wing (though many of its regular-people protagonists are self described Republicans) it makes Michael Stipe look like Hermann Göring.

If you’re given to a left-wing bent, you might forgive the all-over-the-place narrative jumble as directors Carl Deal and Tia Lessin try to cram the rise of the teabaggers, Walker’s 2010 election, the 2012 recall election, Wisconsin’s historic legislative battles and Buddy Roemer’s small 2012 presidential campaign into 85 minutes.

If you’re not—or if you just like coherence—you might lower the grade to “meh.” There’s so much going on here, and so much recent history reexamined, that the documentary itself has an unwelcome feeling of déjà vu despite its good intentions.

Still, one can never hear too much about an activist Supreme Court, and Citizen Koch lays out a compelling case for why Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are unscrupulous. But that’s one of its problems, too—it barely scratches the surface because there’s lots of ground to cover in too little time.



Directed by Carl Deal and Tia Lessin

CCA Cinematheque
85 min.