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Ethos (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 10 February 2011 (USA)
Hosted by twice Oscar nominated actor Woody Harrelson, Ethos explores the mechanisms in our systems that work against democracy, the environment and our own personal liberty.


Pete McGrain


Pete McGrain




Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Harrelson ... Self - Host
Justin Lewis Justin Lewis ... Self - Author, Constructing Public Opinion
Bill Hogan Bill Hogan ... Self - The Center for Public Integrity
Noam Chomsky ... Self - Professor, MIT
Tony Benn Tony Benn ... Self - Veteran British Parliament
Howard Zinn ... Self - Author & Historian
Ray Anderson Ray Anderson ... Self - CEO Interface
Samuel Epstein Samuel Epstein ... Self - Professor of Environmental Medicine
Jane Akre Jane Akre ... Self - Investigative Reporter
Robert Monks Robert Monks ... Self - Corporate Governance Advisor
Sam Gibara Sam Gibara ... Self - Chairman, Former CEO Goodyear
Ira Jackson Ira Jackson ... Self - Director, Center for Business and Government, Harvard University
Pat Jackson Pat Jackson ... Self - Colleague of Edward Bernays
Peter Levy Peter Levy ... Self - Employee of Edward Bernays
Ann Bernays Ann Bernays ... Self - Daughter of Edward Bernays (as Anne Bernays)


This documentary examines the flaws in our systems, and the mechanisms that work against democracy and the environment. From conflicts of interests in politics and unregulated corporate power, to a news media that serves the interests of powerful elites; ETHOS explores the systems that lead us into over consumption and warfare. Too often the media celebrates aspects of our society that belong in the dark ages, while at the same time ignoring or ridiculing progressive thinking or ideas. Many aspects of the way our systems work almost guarantee our destruction as a society and that's what this film is about. Fractured societies, poverty, disparity, pollution, warfare. Is there something inherently wrong with the human race? Is that what we should think of ourselves? We have tried to set up forms of law and government that safeguard the public good. But, if the majority of people want to live in peace and justice in a clean environment and we look around at the world and see that isn't ... Written by Media For Action

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Political Documentary, Woody Harrelson, Ethos




Not Rated

Did You Know?


At 43:50, Daniel Ellsberg appears with the text "Former US Military Anylist". It should be correctly spelled "analyst. See more »


[first lines]
Woody Harrelson - Host: Every day we turn on the TV and there's more bad news. Another environmental catastrophe somewhere, or more starving refugees, or innocent victims in war zones. And most of us are busy trying to make ends meet in our own lives, and we see these images and we feel helpless to do anything about it. I think the deep shame we feel about that is paralyzing. Certainly one of the reasons we turn away.
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References ABC News Nightline (1980) See more »

User Reviews

Defining Politics
21 February 2016 | by hippie-98869See all my reviews

I recently viewed ETHOS and it just increased my lack of trust in big business and government practices.

Not too long ago some friends and I were discussing many topics and politics came up. We were looking for a brief but accurate description of politics.

We didn't find one.

I went to sleep still thinking about this.

I woke up three hours later with an acronym: Persons Of Low Integrity Talking In CircleS

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Release Date:

10 February 2011 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA


Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Media for Action See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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