- Film Worth:$12.50
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Political documentaries are getting more popular these days, obviously partly due to the success of...
Political documentaries are getting more popular these days, obviously partly due to the success of Fahrenheit 9/11 director Michael Moore and his crash-the-party style. Mr. Moore pops up in this one too, a Canadian documentary about big business. The directors, Jennifer Abbott, Mark Achbar and Joel Bakan, are obviously not exactly thrilled about the current shape of US capitalism.
The film proceeds by chapters taking on such topics as the "pathology" of commerce and the system's monstrous obligations. Many activists and commentators appear, including the likes of Naomi Klein, who contributes a well-worded critique of the over-dominance of brands, and Noam Chomsky, the granddaddy of all the talking heads here, who has been sniping at US governments since the days of the Vietnam War.
As a film, The Corporation is not tricksy or particularly crowd-pleasing, and feels quite long at two and a half hours, but it is intelligent and often cogent. It is a largely external view of corporatism in one sense in that most of the voices are critical. The CEOs who speak are mostly ones who have seen the light and have become either ethical or ecologically minded. From the other side, only one trader exposes the putative ruthlessness when he greets the September 11 disaster with thinly-disguised relish about its impact on the price of gold.
Okay, so the film may not convince people that most big corporations are corrupt or sociopathic, but it does mount a serious case about the distorting effect of profit chasing. Hopefully it will get people talking, and that's what polemic is for.