The Illusionists examines how global advertising firms, mass media, and the beauty, fashion, and cosmetic-surgery industries have together colonised the way people all around the world define beauty and see themselves. Taking us from Harvard to the halls of the Louvre, from a cosmetic surgeon's office in Beirut to the heart of Tokyo's Electric Town, The Illusionists shows how these industries saturate our lives with narrow, Westernised, consumer-driven images of so-called beauty that show little to no respect for biological realities or cultural differences. Featuring voices from prominent sociologists, magazine editors, scientists, artists, and activists, The Illusionists documents a truly global phenomenon, with hegemonic results.
The Deepwater Horizon oil explosion of 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico is well-known as one of the largest environmental disasters in history. But what is not well-known is that BP, along with approval by the United States government, attempted to sink the oil in the water and hide it from view rather than clean it up, using the controversial chemical dispersant Corexit. After spraying tons of the chemical throughout the ocean, BP then covered up the practice. Estimates are that 75% of the oil, or 150 million gallons, are still unaccounted for. When filmmaker James Fox learned of this, he began a three year investigation, to get to the bottom about the dispersant use and the coverup. Pretty Slick questions whether public safety and environmental health took a backseat to restoring the tourist-based economy, and exposes the symbiosis between big oil and the United States.