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The Corporation (2003)

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Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance.

Directors:

Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott (co-director)

Writers:

Joel Bakan, Joel Bakan (based on the book "The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power" by) | 8 more credits »
12 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mikela Jay Mikela Jay ... Herself - Narrator (voice) (as Mikela J. Mikael)
Rob Beckwermert Rob Beckwermert ... Actor - Dramatizations
Christopher Gora Christopher Gora ... Actor - Dramatizations
Nina Jones Nina Jones ... Actor - Dramatizations
Richard Kopycinski Richard Kopycinski ... Actor - Dramatizations
Karen Lam ... Actor - Dramatizations
Sean Lang Sean Lang ... Actor - Dramatizations
Bert Phillips Bert Phillips ... Actor - Dramatizations
Diana Wilson Diana Wilson ... Actor - Dramatizations
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jane Akre Jane Akre ... Herself - Investigative Reporter
Ray Anderson Ray Anderson ... Himself - CEO, Interface
Joe Badaracco Joe Badaracco ... Himself - Professor of Business Ethics, Harvard Business School
Maude Barlow ... Herself - Chairperson, Council of Canadians
Chris Barrett ... Himself - Corporate Sponsored University Students
Marc Barry Marc Barry ... Himself - Competitive Intelligence Professional
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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site

Country:

Canada

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

4 June 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Corporation See more »

Filming Locations:

Celebration, Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,671, 6 June 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,879,301, 14 November 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente) |

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Micheal Moore, one of the interviewees discussing his views on corporate greed and capitalism, is famous for creating documentaries of his own such as Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, both of which were critically acclaimed but also widely debated and criticized for being biased upon their release. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: 150 years ago, the business corporation was a relatively insignificant institution. Today, it is all-pervasive. Like the Church, the Monarchy and the Communist Party in other times and places, the corporation is today's dominant institution. This documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts, and possible futures of the modern business corporation. Initially given a narrow legal mandate, what has allowed today's corporation to achieve such extraordinary power and influence ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits display addresses and descriptions of related websites but they can also be found on the official website for the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The North Pole Deception (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Third Chamber
by Salman Gita (as Sam Dodson) & Jamuud (as John Muddyman)
Published by Zomba Music Publishing Ltd.
Used by permission of BMG Music Publishing Canada Inc.
Exclusively Licenced from Nation Records Ltd.
Taken from the album 'Dunya' by Loop Guru
See more »

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User Reviews

A bit overwhelming but compelling, fair and even-handed compared to many such documentaries
22 November 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Where once we used to shop at our local shop and have bread and milk delivered by the local milkman from the local farms, now we shop in a supermarket that is multinational, eat at fast food restaurants that are everywhere and wear clothes made in the third world by those living in sweatshops. This documentary looks at the Corporation as if it was a person (something that US law says it basically is), charting its development, its character and the effects the concept of profit driven corporations has had on the world we live in.

First of all let me just say that I am fairly liberal in some regards but not to the degree as many of the audience I saw this with, many of whom could not signposted themselves anti-capitalist students if they'd actually carried signs. I should also own up and say that I currently work for an American corporation; in fact one of those who's logo flashes up in the section on the top 50 criminal companies (although I did work for an environmental charity prior to this so that gives you some idea of my muddled politics!). Having read No Logo, Fast Food Nation, seen Michael Moore films and, hey, actually used my own eyes and brain, it came as no surprise to me that the idea of a business that considers no growth to equal failing and must constantly earn more and more to be a bad thing. Nor was I surprised by the sweatshops or pollution that occurs. Neither would any of this be a surprise to the majority of the already tuned-in audience and wisely the film doesn't just rant at us about how terrible things are; instead it takes a fairly compelling look at the wider problems associated with this model. It is consistently interesting, compelling and, sadly, all a bit depressing.

The film's strength is that it never gets personal or preachy. The film allows the CEOs to get a fair chance to present their opinions and it never demonises any of them, the vast majority of them actually come off as very nice guys who seem to genuinely want to be ethical, environmental etc. Not only does this give the film a balanced feel (a refreshing change from Moore's axe-grinding and sermonising) but it also makes the subject more scary – it would be better if the system could be down to careless, evil men but it isn't; it is the system that is the problem and no one person is to blame. The structure of the film jumps around a lot and I'm not sure it entirely works because it is pretty overwhelming although I suppose it was always going to be hard to frame such a large, complex topic – just look at the anti-capitalist protests to get an idea of the multi-issue argument.

The film is not perfect of course and, looking around the audience after the film, it is evident that this film has mostly played to converted rather than winning new converts in the main. Part of this is how overwhelming it is but also the fact that it does run pretty long as well – not a problem once you're into it but perhaps a bit of a turnoff for those not seeking it out. Secondly the lack of answers is also a bit of a problem. I guess I preferred the ending to the alternative of being told to eat mung beans and make our own clothes but it is easy to feel that we just have to accept what we are being told is bad. For me personally this wasn't a massive problem because I do hold a position where I have to work to improve the sustainability of a small part of a big corporation so I left rather hopeful and looking forward to work the next day – but for many viewers I can understand why it feels like a dead end.

Overall though, this is a very good film that allows everyone a fairly balanced crack at the whip even if its agenda and politics are obvious from the start. It avoids demonising, simplifying and making it personal and it is stronger and more engaging as a result. It provides no easy answers but it does provide challenges and plenty to think about with all the talking heads making valid points for all sides and perhaps showing that the answers do lie in the middle – not the extremes of money chasing shareholders or the noisy and brightly dressed street protesters. Regardless of your politics it is worth seeing this film and it deserves to be seen by as wide an audience as lesser documentaries have been (and yes Michael Moore, I'm talking about you).


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