In a thoroughly researched account of how the modern corporation has come to overwhelm our individual rights in the United States, Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott’s lefty documentary “The Corporation” uses a simple, diagnostic test to evaluate the corporation’s erratic, psychopathic behavior.
Aiming at upholding the importance of uniform social responsibility, the film takes on a humorous as well as ominously foreboding tone from the start. Using filmstrips from the fifties as well as a consistent and somewhat creepy narration, the film paints a dark portrait of the corporation as a destructive and unstoppable entity. Tracing the history of the corporation brings to light just how influential the corporation has become. In the documentary, the filmmakers address how the corporation has obtained the legal right to be recognized as a person, keeping only the interests of a diagnosed psychopath in mind.
The documentary recounts the sad reality about the mistreatment of animals, the existence of sweatshops, the declining state of the environment, as well as the mind-numbing tactics used by common corporations such as FOX News – all of which serve to demonstrate how rampantly accelerated the competition of corporations has become.
Abbott and Achbar’s argument is largely environmentally conscious, in contrast with other prominent anti-corporate advocates, such as Michael Moore, and uses a full range of undeniably effective visual clips to accompany their recurring theme. The filmmakers’ choices of a diversified panel of interviewees, an impressive lineup varying from the obviously leftist usual suspects (Moore, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky) to a select group of wildcards including the CEO of the leading carpet corporation, Ray Anderson, invariably adds to the revealing quality found in all solid documentaries.
The length of the documentary, after two-and-a half hours, is a bit trying on the average attention span. Even so, the film tells an intriguing tale of an imminent danger, from which we can all take a thought or two. Subtly witty, yet unrelenting in its observations, “The Corporation” is a delightful piece of subjective enlightenment.