Mike Hoolboom’s latest lyrical essay film links together the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics, exposing the violence of neoliberalism’s deification of individualism, entrepreneurial freedom, and personal responsibility. The film draws its title from Hito Steyerl’s essay, “Freedom from Everything,” which Hoolboom adapts and transforms along with its neoliberal main characters, the freelancer and the mercenary. Hoolboom invites audiences to wonder at the normalization of bootstrapping–the injunction to become responsible for oneself–in the face of overlapping socio-environmental crises and the erosion of state forms of care.

The film raises the disconcerting possibility that under neoliberalism all citizens have become, like the freelancer and mercenary, outlaws for whom freedoms are no longer the civil liberties guaranteed by the state, but rather, the free fall of living outside of class consciousness and community. While Hoolboom lays bare the chilling reality of the organized abandonment of the sick and vulnerable under neoliberalism’s dismantling of liberal democratic institutions, the film ultimately asks us to imagine what comes next, to ponder the possibilities of care and community after the nation state.

Mike Hoolboom

Mike Hoolboom began making movies in 1980. Making, as practice, a daily application. Ongoing remixology. 100+ movies, 100 fest awards. Feature-length bio docs, the many works about capitalism. The animating question of community: how can I help you? Interviews with media artists for 3 decades. 30+ books, written, edited, co-edited. Local ecologies. Volunteerism. Opening the door.

Freedom From Everything

Thursday, March 14, 2024 | 9pm EST
Canada| 120 min.

120 min Canada

2024, features