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The Corporation | Review

What they Feed Us

Canadian doc dispenses the truth syrup on the friendly business world showing us that everything is wrong from the milk we drink to the computer we use.

Some poor sap sticks up a gas station, gets caught and then gets three-years to life. However, others literally get away with murder. If you happen to be wearing a business suit and play the shtick of the shockingly unaware CEO that thinks three-legged frogs are the norm and that agent orange is a new citrus scented aerosol then the law applies itself only with a penalty of a slap on the wrist.

Documentary filmmakers Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan have a loaded agenda, – one that covers the full scope of how profit with ill-regard for responsibility has damaged the place we live in way beyond repair. The documentary poses the questions, timelines the history of violence, probes the problems and the film’s conclusion actually stops from a total wrecking-ball experience by giving something to hope for. The film first details how companies have obtained the special status in the law books-earning the status of being considered a ‘person’ for almost half a century. The film then psychologically profiles the company as a psycho serial killer, it may sound extreme but the facts show that there is too much amnesty for the business ethics of the golden arches or the just-do it swoosh sneaker show corp. The three hour piece baffles the mind by providing a checklist of company names and accompanying log book of crimes against humanity, making for a great companion piece to the insanity found in (Bowling for Columbine) and recent best-seller Fast Food Nation.

The Corporation is an invaluable piece, one that offers one case study after the next of heavily researched cases commented on by dozen of experts, everyone from a multi-national CEO trying to reverse the trend to everyone’s favorite documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. What is absurd is how the same companies that raped the land, killed off people and bribed politicians are now playing the green card giving themselves an environmentally friendly image without making any changes. What the film tells us is that one less fill-up at a gas station, or one less purchase of a Big Mac or how one less purchase of a piece from The Gap can make a difference. If consumers have the final say then perhaps Wall Street will trade pieces of air like it does with barrels of crude oil.

If this doesn’t make you change one consumerism habit then you’ve haven’t been listening. The Corporation identifies the corporate logo as a warning label, one that society has the power to understand way beyond the comfy warm colors and funny fonts. This is the most important film you’ll see this year. Spread the word!

Reviewed by: Ismail Bouafia

Rating 4 stars

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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