‘Dumpster Fire,’ opening at Picture House Tuesday, is meant to drive you off your couch


Director Rod Webber, standing in front of a car on fire in Minneapolis during last year’s Black Lives Matter Protests.

Director Rod Webber hopes his new political documentary, “2020: The Dumpster Fire,” will shock people off of their couches and out of the mainstream media.

“Why sit on your couch when these people walk among us like vampires?” he asked in an interview with the Pelham Examiner.

The new indie doc opened at The Picture House on Wednesday. The film follows activist and documentarian Webber throughout 2020, as he trolls political figures, documents the scenes of violence in Minneapolis during the George Floyd protests, vandalizes art galleries and even has a few serious conversations with political personalities.

“My message is for people to think for themselves and call out power anytime that they can,” said Webber. “People need to wake up and stop watching corporate media. They need to realize they are being lied to, and their consent for monstrous politicians is being manufactured.”

Webber said he believes that mainstream media outlets are too connected to politicians to be trustworthy, and people need to do their research and make their voices heard.

The film includes coverage of his publicity stunts vandalizing art studios. The most well known of these is when he wrote “Epstein didn’t kill himself” in red lipstick on the wall that displayed the banana-taped-to-a-wall art piece at the gallery Art Basel in Miami, which had previously been vandalized when Dave Datuna ate it off the wall.

“It was, quite honestly, the talk of the town that Dave Datuna had eaten the banana from the Maurizio Cattelan banana piece, and since he effectively destroyed a piece of art, and the gallery had sanctioned it as the creation of a new piece of art, you know effectively they created an open invitation to go and do it again,” Webber said. “So that being the case, I thought it was an important message to get out there.”

Webber said he didn’t understand why the media called Dave Datuna an artist while deeming Webber a conspiracy theorist and a vandal for what he felt was “essentially the same thing.” He also vandalized the Georges Berges Gallery, which had Hunter Biden’s work on display. He attempted to write, “Daddy is a war criminal,” but was detained by a bystander before he could finish. All the vandalism charges were dropped, he said.

According to Webber’s website, most of the first half of “2020: Dumpster Fire” consists of trolling political figures.

“I have one very simple rule,” he said. “I engage the candidates and ask them for a serious interview. If they are incapable or unwilling to do so, then the troll helmet comes on.” He described trolling as “provoking a response, whether through comedy, a reversal of meaning or otherwise goading someone into a response which they would not otherwise give.”

When asked if he thought comedy detracted from the message, he said, “It used to be that the jester is the only one who could call out the king to his face,” noting comedy has been used to convey profound messages for years from medieval times to late night talk shows.

According the website, the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis are a big part of the documentary, as Webber documents the areas of the demonstrations where he claims corporate news outlets didn’t have the courage or budget to go. He said he saw police using live munitions, members of the National Guard tearing a black man out of his car and “hunting protesters.” These claims have yet to be proven, but Webber said he has documented them in his movie, as he believes that corporate media has no interest in showing any of it.