The Corporation is a Canadian documentary film, which appeared in 2003. The movie is based on the book “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power” by Joel Bakan. Filmmaking team, which consists of Jennifer Abbott, Joel Bakan and Mark Achbar, has produced a nice combination of documentary movie presented in an unusual way. It explores origins, development and present state of corporation. The authors of the film study the impact corporations have on the modern society in general and individual people in particular.
The film presents unprejudiced view on such mega corporations as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, IBM and Nike. Michael Moore, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman and Noam Chomsky, respected economists and Noble prize-winners, express their views on the impact of corporation. They make a good deal showing true appearance of corporations and influence they have on average people.
This is the type of the movie, which makes people think and imagine possible consequences of the activities of the corporations we now perceive as an inevitable part of our life. Sharp critics in the movie do not only express the opinion of the authors. Much data and statistics presented in the movie prove that facts given there are not a fruit of the authors’ imagination. The film explores an important problem and those, who care about their own future and future of their children, should be aware of the facts given there.
The authors of the movie treat corporations as separate individuals and judge their deeds accordingly. Watching things from such a perspective gives the audience a better understanding of the harm committed by the corporations to the society. Specific examples help to create necessary effect. Originally, corporation was created by the government and possessed specific functions. In modern world corporations possess legal rights same as individuals do. Such equality was primary initiated by the decision of the U.S.
Supreme Court, which gave corporations or time-limited entities same rights as individuals. Such a decision has had a long-lasting effect including misuse or even abuse of monopoly, additional political influence and many others. The authors try to analyze corporations using criteria of modern psychology, such as DSM-IV, Robert Hare’s and other evaluation criteria. They treat world-famous corporations as psychopaths. American corporations become the object of scrupulous attention. All the results show that if treated like a person, a corporation would have serious personality disorders.
Corporations are estimated in regard to their “serial behaviors” with the help of a “Personality Diagnostic Checklist.” Those, who organize an experiment find such things of disorders as manipulation, lying, paying no attention to the needs of other people and many others, which modern psychologists associate with psychopathic individuals. It is worth to mention that experiment is made by true psychologists and it means that their diagnosis can be trusted.
Theoretical basis of the movie gives a lot of exact data and statistics. This helps the audience to make their own conclusions concerning the problem. Long theorizing can be boring at times but the authors did their best in order not to miss any important information, which would be able to influence people’s opinion. The authors use strong arguments in order to prove their thesis.
At the same time The Corporation uses entertaining techniques and has things, which can attract audience and entertain it. Exploring on of the most influential models of modern time, the authors of the film are far from abstract rhetoric and pathetic claims. Great number of commentators, who express their opinion on the subject, make an impression of professional and deep investigation performed by the authors. In addition to serious investigation and opinion of qualified specialists, wit and humorous narration style helps to avoid dullness. Computer graphics create additional visionary effects and adds special charm to the film.
Irony, wit and humor help the authors of the movie to express their main idea – to shed light to such important questions as global warming, exhausting natural resource, governmental corruption, human rights and rich-poor gap and the way corporations are messed up with all these problems. The film is challenging not only because it uses innovative approach comparing corporations to individuals, but also because it gives new perspective on the problem with corporation.
Filmmakers tell a story of corporations and show how they became so powerful and mighty that even can influence lives of people all over the world. They show dirty tricks used by these corporations and point out the possible consequences if the situation develops in this direction. It is hard to believe in the impartial attitude of the filmmakers but in our age of globalization where corporation control economy, politics and even minds of people any chance should be used in order to bring truth to people and filmmakers do their best in order to use it.
What I really liked about the movie was a combination of different ways to influence the audience. Filmmakers combine data and statistics, which give food for thoughts with the emotional appeal to people, who watch the movie. Such a combination is more likely to target hearts and minds of people and these means that the authors will be successful in passing their message to the audience.
ARCHBAR, M., ABBOTT, J. (2004) The Corporation. Big Picture Media.
The CORPORATION OFFICIAL WEBSITE htt