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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."

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KI67 Videocracy DVD (2009) $29.95 $24.99