Mark Achbar & Jennifer Abbott
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One hundred and fifty years ago, the corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Today, it is a vivid, dramatic and pervasive presence in all our lives. It is the dominant institution of our time. A complex, sobering, yet darkly amusing documentary, The Corporation takes its audience on a graphic and engaging quest to reveal the corporation's inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures. Mark Achbar, co-director of the influential and inventive Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, teams up with co-director Jennifer Abbott and writer Joel Bakan to examine the far-reaching repercussions of the corporation's ascent. Based on Bakan's best-selling book, "The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power", the film has achieved international critical and box office success. Winner of 10 audience awards, including Sundance, and 26 awards in total from prestigious festivals around the world, it stands as the top-grossing Canadian feature documentary of all time. The Corporation includes encounters and interviews with CEOs and top-level executives from a range of industries: energy, pharmaceutical, computer, tire, carpet, sporting goods, public relations, branding, news, advertising, and undercover marketing, as well as the first management guru, the first corporate-sponsored university students, a Nobel-prize winning economist, a corporate spy, and a range of academics, critics, historians and thinkers. The Corporation reveals that legally, a corporation is granted the status of a "person", and asks: "If that's the case, what kind of person is it?" To assess the "personality" of the corporate "person," a checklist is employed, using diagnostic criteria of the World Health Organization and the DSM IV, the standard diagnostic tool of psychiatrists and psychologists. It turns out the operational principles of the corporation give it a highly anti-social "personality": it is self-interested, inherently amoral, callous and deceitful; it breaches social and legal standards to get its way; it does not suffer from guilt, yet it can mimic the human qualities of empathy, caring and altruism. A disturbing diagnosis is delivered: the institutional embodiment of laissez-faire capitalism meets the diagnostic criteria of a psychopath. The Corporation depicts numerous, inspiring, corporate harm reduction strategies employed by individuals and organizations working to regulate, re-write and reform this formidable societal force.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 109
- Fresh: 98
- Rotten: 11
- Average Rating: 7.4/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: At its most effective, the movie is a chastening, sobering, and thorough work of film journalism, however shortsighted.
Fresh: Very well informed about the legal origins of corporations and their current near omnipotence.
Fresh: If you care about the environment, workers' rights, your own health and your children's future, you need to see this film.
Fresh: An impassioned polemic, filled with information sure to break up any dinner-table conversation.
A Must See Documentary for Anyone Who Likes to be Challenged!
This is a must see movie for anyone no matter what your political persuasion might be. I have been a conservative Republican most of my life, and I say that for those who might think that I am some left wing nut case (sorry for those who may consider themselves left wing, no disrespect intended) trying to make a point. I'm not what you consider liberal, and I would challenge anyone who thinks that the government is serving their best interest when it comes to maintaining and controlling corporations to watch this movie. Are there deliberate biases taken? Yes, but it does not distract from the real "eye-opening" message that this documentary brings.
Brilliant. Period. (And I am sure it will annoy a lot of people, specially in the US)
Yes, it is thought provoking and opinion-altering. Like in the "The Matrix"; watching this documentary is like taking the Red Pill. It is hard to the keep seeing the world and capitalist societies in the same way: one could become a depressed cynic after watching this film. It can be somewhat simplistic as mentioned by some but one cannot deny the real message of the film: to illustrate the greed and callousness of corporations and that of what many people are willing to do for money/employment. This is one of those films/topics that can make or break a conversation. (And yet, ironically we are here throwing money at Apple once again. But what can us, simple mortals do?)
The Corporation is not human
This is a must see film to help people better understand the pros and cons of the corporate entity...not the people behind it, but rather the infrastructure of one of the most powerful man-made forces on earth. Highly enlightening.