How did it begin?
It started as a few ideas, the fragmented images became visions, they multiplied and took on a life of their own. I raced to keep up with the characters, writing furiously, possessed, stopping only to imbibe -
Apparently that’s what you are supposed to say. It was in fact the interplay between that kind of spontaneity and something else. The emergent story connected with a deeper yearning that had been brewing for a while.
The questions, concerns, ideas and outright rage that arise at the nexus of capitalist excesses, the environment and law are profound and deserve to be considered in high resolution by a wide range of people.
Taking a cue from works like Blood Diamond, The Pelican Brief and The Constant Gardener, Tyranny of the Masses weaves its way through some of today’s most pressing issues and presents their jagged complexity in scenes that intertwine ideas, images, songs, surfing and salty-sweet love.
So what’s it about?
You can look at it from a few perspectives.
At one level, it is a race against time that begins hung-over in Indonesia’s frontier forests, slams though UN headquarters and the Lower East Side, climaxing in the racially charged streets of Cape Town. We love Jackson for his verve but laugh mercilessly at his attempts to confront his emotional intelligence - a Naked Ape that drags its knuckles though kaleidoscopic confusion, jarring juxtapositions and perplexing paradoxes.
At another, it’s about Jackson’s internal struggle to make sense of his role in the world, especially in the context of mass consumption, corruption, deforestation, and species extinction.
And at its core, it is a genuine attempt to describe our times, simultaneously exploring the twenty-first century zeitgeist and the associated political, social and environmental conditions that we both create and suffer.