Provoking, witty, sweepingly informative, THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant business institution of our time. Footage from pop culture, advertising, TV news, and corporate propaganda, illuminates the corporation’s grip on our lives. Taking its legal status as a “person” to its logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist’s couch to ask “What kind of person is it?”
About Part I
Part I of The Corporation outlines the emergence of corporations as an entity, and more importantly, the treatment they receive as Â“personsÂ” under the law. To assess the “personality” of the corporate “person,” a checklist is employed, using diagnostic criteria of the World Health Organization and the standard diagnostic tool of psychiatrists and psychologists. 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. The Corporation then goes on to outline how corporations, not held fully accountable under law, are buying up the planet, engage in irresponsible advertising, and punish whistleblowers.
About Part II
Part II of The Corporation looks at how corporations have often tried to undo democracy if it is an obstacle to their drive for profit. From a 1934 business-backed plot to install a military dictator in the White House (undone by the integrity of one U.S. Marine Corps General, Smedley Darlington Butler) to present-day law-drafting, corporations have bought military might, political muscle and public opinion. But from massive international protests to local ballot initiatives, a movement is growing to strip corporations of their stranglehold on power.
Interviews & Background
The Corporation includes forty interviews with corporate insiders and critics – including Milton Friedman, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and Michael Moore – plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change. The film is based on the book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan.
Since the late 18th century American legal decision that the business corporation organizational model is legally a person, it has become a dominant economic, political and social force around the globe. This film takes an in-depth psychological examination of the organization model through various case studies. What the study illustrates is that in the its behaviour, this type of “person” typically acts like a dangerously destructive psychopath without conscience. Furthermore, we see the profound threat this psychopath has for our world and our future, but also how the people with courage, intelligence and determination can do to stop it. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Corporations control almost every part of our lives. At the top, lobbyists influence politicians. But on an everyday level, from the food we eat, to the air we breathe – not to mention what we see when we walk down the street or turn on the television Â– we have put our lives in their hands. So why do they often seem immune to legal controls?
Winner of 24 INTERNATIONAL AWARDS including IDFA special jury prize, 10 of them AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS including AUDIENCE AWARD for DOCUMENTARY in WORLD CINEMA at the 2004 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL.