Wednesday 10 November 2004

The Corporation (2003) - ickleReview (cinema)

Corporations are inhumane, but they have the legal status of a single human being. This is a documentary which explains how this happened and what the effects are. It is quite lengthy (145 minutes), but the sort of audiences who want to learn about this stuff are going to tolerate it. This - again - makes America look bad (mainly because it is home of the world's most powerful corporations like Nike, Coca-Cola and McDonald's). Did you know, for example, that IBM supplied the "business solution" for Nazi concentration camp administration: an early form of computer: the punch-card database?

This is a well balanced film, with opinion from right-wing think-tankers, Nobel Prize-winning (hawk) economists, reformed conscience CEOs, Michael Moore, and Noam Chomsky. There's a hilarious scene from one of Moore's movies when he goes to sing Christmas carols - in true corporate spirit - in the foyer of a large tobacco company...with victims of throat cancer, who squawk along, holding a finger to the hole in their throat.

But it's not all end-of-the-world stuff. There are some uplifting citings of the people uprising in Bolivia to oppose the privitization of their city's water supply; of advocates for sustainable development; of smalltown American communities boycotting chain stores. We (or our lawyers did) gave birth to this monster; but we can also slay it like Beowulf.

Nugget: Not quite as engaging as Mark Achbar's 1992 film, Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, but still makes informative and at times entertaining and funny viewing.

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