By Jeffrey M. Anderson
Joining with "Bowling for Columbine" and "Super Size Me," "The Corporation" forms a new documentary subgenre: the angry, anti-corporate rant. Directed by Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan, the film begins with the fascinating discovery that corporations are considered people under the law. Charting their rise and eventual consumption of America, the filmmakers conclude that if a corporation is indeed a person, it fits all the criteria of a psychopath.
The film tells many stories to illustrate its thesis, including the astonishing one about Fox News reporters breaking the story about bovine growth hormones and how the corporation who manufactured them successfully pressured Fox to keep the story off the air. It also tells hopeful stories, such as one carpet manufacturer who strives to make his company completely self-sustaining in the next decade. Interviewees such as Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky chime in with their opinions, and it feels like a breath of air.
Running 145 minutes, the film barely has enough time to get its main points in, and it could have gone on much longer and still remained fascinating. Maybe we can hope for an uncut version to run as a TV miniseries.
***1/2 out of ****
(145m | NR)