Citizen Koch Film Finally Premiers in U.S. Cities After David Koch Censorship

by Connor Gibson

June 6, 2014

A documentary is finally about to see the light of day, after being defunded and subject to de facto censorship thanks to the influence of billionaire David Koch of Koch Industries.

Tia Lessin and Carl Deal’s Citizen Koch examines how the billionaire Koch brothers used to wealth to exert influence in Wisconsin amid staggering union protests and a near-recall of its corporate-friendly governor.

The film provides an in-depth look into “KochWorld,” or the “Kochtopus,” or whatever you’d like to call Charles and David Koch’s vast political apparatus that allows them to coordinate hundreds of millions of dollars to pour into a secretive network of political front groups, which then implement campaigns to promote the business priorities of Koch Industries or the ideological preferences of its billionaire brother owners.

The defunding of Citizen Koch is one chapter of a saga that uncovered how PBS affiliates have bent over backwards to accommodate billionaire donor and board member David Koch, who didn’t appreciate Alex Gibney’s Park Avenue, a film critical of Mr. Koch and some other of America’s wealthiest people that aired on PBS stations. David Koch has since disassociated from New York’s WNET station, though Koch is a trustee of WGBH–Boston’s PBS affiliate. Groups like Forecast the Facts have protested Koch’s presence on the WGBH board.

citizen koch statueFollowing PBS’ unusual arrangment to let Koch Industries influence the debut of Gibney’s Park Avenue, Lessin and Deal’sCitizen Koch suddenly found itself hung out to dry by the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Apparently, public television officials felt so pressured by Koch Industries and so eager for continued large donations from executive David Koch that ITVS suddenly and unceremoniously dropped its planned financial support for Citizen Koch. This was after early indications that ITVS was excited to support the film.

Despite David Koch’s success in intimidating PBS and ITVS to renege their support for Citizen Koch, the filmmakers used the controversy to successfully crowd-source the necessary funds to finish and promote the film. Citizen Koch kicks off tonight at New York City’s IFC Center.

Here is a list of select screenings in many major U.S. cities; for those wanting to spread the word, you can host a screening of Citizen Koch!

Opening Theater SHOWTIMES and TICKETS*
June 6 New York, NY IFC Center
June 11 Ann Arbor, MI Michigan Theatre
Sturtevant, WI Marcus Renaissance
June 13 Detroit, MI Cinema Detroit
Chicago, IL Gene Siskel Film Center
Huntington, NY Cinema Arts Centre
Madison, WI Sundance Cinemas
Milwaukee, WI Landmark Downer Theater
Muskegon, MI Harbor Cinema
Rochester, NY Little Theatre
June 20 Arlington, VA AMC Loews Shirlington 7
Boston, MA Brattle Theatre
Columbus, OH Gateway Film Center
Santa Fe, NM CCA Cinematheque
Albuquerque, NM Guild Cinema
Scottsdale, AZ Harkins Camelview
St. Louis, MO Webster U Film Series
Washington, DC West End Cinema
Missoula, MT Roxy Theater
June 27 Los Angeles, CA Sundance Sunset
Los Angeles, CA Laemmle Royal
Pasadena, CA Laemmle Playhouse 7
Encino, CA Laemmle Town Center 5
Seattle, WA Sundance Cinemas
San Diego, CA Gaslamp Cinemas
San Jose, CA Cinema 3 Downtown
San Francisco, CA Landmark Shattuck
Berkeley, CA Landmark Opera Plaza
Denver, CO Sie FIlmCenter
New Orleans, LA Zeitgeist Arts Center
Houston, TX Sundance Cinemas
Santa Ana, CA South Coast Village
Hartford, CT Real Art Ways

Check for more Koch Facts.

Connor Gibson

By Connor Gibson

Connor Gibson does research for Greenpeace's Investigations team. He focuses on polluting industries, their front groups and PR operatives, particularly focusing on the Koch Brothers.

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