The Corporation

This blockbuster doc from a team including Mark Achbar – who gave us Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent – takes apart the modern corporation and finds therein a psychopathic condition. Quick-paced, witty and vastly engaging at the outset, The Corporation then settles into the pattern of a more conventional documentary.

There is a vast amount of material that will shock and challenge even those who thought they knew the depth of corporate malfeasance. From Bolivia (where Bechtel claimed rainwater as their property) to Nazi Germany (where IBM and Coke found ingenious ways to continue business as usual) the film ranges over numerous case studies that leave little doubt about the brutal amorality of the corporate world. There are interviews with not only the usual suspects – Michael Moore, Vandana Shiva, Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein – but also a variety of characters from the corporate world, many of whom may now regret having been interviewed. Free-market guru Milton Friedman is there, as is the thoughtful CEO of Interface Carpet, Ray Anderson – that rarest of birds, a genuine corporate reformer.

At two-and-a-half hours long The Corporation could have stood a tighter edit. But corporate wrongdoing provides such a rich vein that it must have proved too difficult to leave much on the cuttingroom floor.

That aside, The Corporation is an excellent documentary which doesn't get stuck in the might of corporate power but shows many voices and actions of resistance. Drag an apathetic or apolitical friend to see it with you – they may never be the same again!

New Internationalist issue 369 magazine cover This article is from the July 2004 issue of New Internationalist.
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