The Corporation

Leah and I took in ‘The Corporation‘ on Tuesday. I’d been quite resistant to seeing it, but decided that it was one of those films that should be seen. And in many ways, it lived up to my expectations: The hype was overrated, there wasn’t much new in it (except for the Bolivian water thing — that was new, and horrifying, to me), it was too long and felt a little too self-congratulatory, and it was one of the best critiques of corporate culture I’ve ever seen.

The usual Talking Heads were found in it, along with some opposing voices, and interesting characters. The premise, that a corporation (legally, an individual) is a psychopath, was humorous and well executed. The footage was decent and the interviews were all compelling. I wish that they’d been able to find more recent footage (in particular vis-à-vis Shell), and some more diverse examples of bad corporate citizenship (none of the case-study corporations were unexpected, really), perhaps some quotidian examples of smaller corporations, or something slighly more relevant to the average person (it’s quite easy to view these mega-corporations as untouchable/unchangable. But what about something smaller? Does, let’s say, Subway, have bad practises that we could affect? Or O’Reilly Publishing?).

Of course, my last complaint has to do with audience: Looking back at everyone else there, I would say the vast majority were already the converted. It’s alot easier to watch this movie when everyone agrees with it. What are the producers doing to get their opponents to see it? I’d love to show this film to, say, anMBA class, or some commerce or economics students, and have a Q&A on their reactions. Now, hopefully, that is the intended destination for this film, and once it’s had its run in theatres, there will be a concerted effort to get it into the hands of educators around the globe.

I still think that every one of you, even if you don’t think you’ll learn anything, should see this movie — and not just to support Canadian cinema.

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