Synopsis by Josh Ralske
In the mid-1800s, corporations began to be recognized as individuals by U.S. courts, granting them unprecedented rights. The Corporation, a documentary by filmmakers Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott and author Joel Bakan, delves into that legal standard, essentially asking: if corporations were people, what kind of people would they be? Applying psychiatric principles and FBI forensic techniques, and through a series of case studies, the film determines that this entity, the corporation, which has an increasing power over the day-to-day existence of nearly every living creature on earth, would be a psychopath. The case studies include a story about how two reporters were fired from Fox News for refusing to soft-pedal a story about the dangers of a Monsanto product given to dairy cows, and another about Bolivian workers who banded together to defend their rights to their own water supply. The pervasiveness of corporate influence on our lives is explored through an examination of efforts to influence behavior, including that of children. The filmmakers interview leftist figures like Michael Moore, Howard Zinn, Naomi Klein, and Noam Chomsky, and give representatives from companies Burson Marsteller, Disney, Pfizer, and Initiative Media a chance to relay their own points-of-view. The Corporation won the Best Documentary World Cinema Audience Award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
big-business, business-ethics, corruption, power, exploitation, corporate-espionage, environmental-hazard