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Corporation, the

Mikela Jay , Rob Beckwermert , Jennifer Abbott , Mark Achbar    Unrated   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Corporation, the + Inside Job (Sous-titres français) + Capitalism: A Love Story
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An epic in length and breadth, this documentary aims at nothing less than a full-scale portrait of the most dominant institution on the planet Earth in our lifetime--a phenomenon all the more remarkable, if not downright frightening, when you consider that the corporation as we know it has been around for only about 150 years. It used to be that corporations were, by definition, short-lived and finite in agenda. If a town needed a bridge built, a corporation was set up to finance and complete the project; when the bridge was an accomplished fact, the corporation ceased to be. Then came the 19th-century robber barons, and the courts were prevailed upon to define corporations not as get-the-job-done mechanisms but as persons under the 14th Amendment with full civil rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (i.e., power and profit)--ad infinitum.

The Corporation defines this endlessly mutating life-form in exhaustive detail, measuring the many ways it has not only come to dominate but to deform our reality. The movie performs a running psychoanalysis of this entity with the characteristics of a prototypical psychopath: a callous unconcern for the feelings and safety of others, an incapacity to experience guilt, an ingrained habit of lying for profit, etc. We are swept away on a demented odyssey through an altered cosmos, in which artificial chemicals are created for profit and incidentally contribute to a cancer epidemic; in which the folks who brought us Agent Orange devise a milk-increasing drug for a world in which there is already a glut of milk; in which an American computer company leased its systems to the Nazis--and serviced them on a monthly basis--so that the Holocaust could go forward as an orderly process.

The movie goes on too long, circles too many points obsessively and redundantly, and risks preaching-to-the-choir reductiveness by calling on the usual talking-head suspects--Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Michael Moore. And except for an endlessly receding tracking shot in an infinite patents archive, there's scarcely an image worth recalling. Still, it maps the new reality. This is our world--welcome to it. --Richard T. Jameson

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time to increase liability Aug. 12 2005
The book and the film is not about eliminating the profit motive, despite what the authors of The Rebel Sell (Joseph Heath & Andrew Potter) have said. This is about passing laws to ensure that corporations are not only accountable to their shareholders, but to all stakeholders as well - a corporation's employees and all the people its business affects. Limited liability and the fact that corporations are seen as people by the law have made corporations, especially multinationals, far too powerful. The film offers a potent political starting point to ensure greater social justice and environmental protection in a world that is increasingly bought and sold by corporations.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Extras April 9 2005
Even if I hadn't been one of the filmmakers, I'm sure I would have highly recommended this film, but what Amazon.ca doesn't specify in detail are all the extras, which I put a lot of time (and money!) into creating for your viewing pleasure.
* * Two feature audio commentaries: One with co-directors Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, and one with writer Joel Bakan
* * Janeane Garofolo interviews Joel Bakan on Air America's Majority Report
* * "Q's and A's": A selection of television, radio and festival interview segments with the filmmakers, including segments from CNN Financial, WNYC, WBAI, and Air America
* * Theatrical trailers for The Corporation and Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media
* * Selection of deleted scenes, including additional clips from Michael Moore's The Awful Truth
* * Grassroots marketing video segment
* * "Topical Paradise" and "Tell Me More": Over 5.5 hours of additional footage of The Corporation's 40 interviewees (and then some), searchable by topic or interview subject
* * Plus: Additional trailers, a very cool short film ("What Barry Says"), web links, subject updates, and more! Yes, even more. Like an incredible keynote presentation that Thomas Alan Linzey gave at the Bioneers conference last year (it's the last item in the list of "Strategies For Change".)
I sat down one day and figured out that if you were to watch the film and all the extras, and listened to all the audio commentaries, it would total a 16 hour media experience... I'm not suggesting anyone actually put themselves through that, but the way it's laid out, whatever your area of interest, there's something there for you that will enhance your experience of the film. So enjoy!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A COMPELLING TRUTH ! June 4 2006
Contrary to the misinformed review by an anonymous "customer" (December 2005), The Corporation video tells it like it is. The truth is not always pretty, but it is necessary to know. Corporations are not benevolent institutions (their primary 'legal' responsibility is to maximize profits for their shareholders). If anyone thinks I'm not telling the truth, you know my real name and my city ... so find me and sue me!

This is one DVD which MUST be shown to every secondary school student before they are allowed to graduate. Not only is it educational and topical, but also highly entertaining! I wish I could give it MORE than 5 stars!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal, amazing, powerful April 17 2005
By Andre
If there is a movie you MUST see - this is the one.
Look at all the people they have in the film: http://thecorporation.com/index.php?page_id=3
This film deserves far more attention than it gets right now. And the best thing is that it is funded by Canadian govermental funding institutions and not corporations like Viacom, AOL or Disney. Yes, it did get money from Rogers TeleFund, but if you listen to the makers you find out Rogers had no say in the film. Rogers donated the money to the fund and the independent canadian film makers/some sort of guild decided which project to put the money into.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars solid - very well done July 28 2010
Wow. This film is a must see. Not demonising anyone or anything, but a very honest assessment of how it is that large (and especially multi-national) corporations are consistently tempted to deliver great evils in the name of generating profits. Very very well presented. Solid research, great interviews, fair conclusions, and enlightening perspectives.
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Thanks to publicly funded broadcasting, I first saw The Corporation on TV over a year ago, but I assume this 2-disc DVD (which is now on my wish-list) contains everything I saw (and then some).
The Corporation is a slick MTV-style documentary that if nothing else is always entertaining to watch. It has ultra-high production values, the right mix of seriousness and humour (thanks to a sprinkling of 1950's era film footage), very catchy music and a rousing ending. But it also drives home a clear message about who's really controlling and benefiting from the current world order. This isn't conspiracy-mongering - everything in The Corporation is occurring right now, and whether that bothers you or not is up to your own sense of morality and justice. One day soon, critics will look back on this little documentary from Canada and remark how prophetic it was.
Some of the things I liked best about The Corporation:
-a good introduction to some difficult concepts, using fun metaphors like a shark to describe corporations as "externalizing machines"
-a very emotional interview with the founder of the environmentally friendly company Interface Inc. concerning the ecological holocaust now taking place in our world
-provocative allegations concerning the extent of the patenting of life forms by corporations
-images of riot police in Quebec and Bolivia beating down peaceful demonstrators to protect corporate interests, which forces the viewer to question how democratic our society is any longer
The latter two-thirds of the film fail to make reference to the initial thesis about the corporation as a psychopath and instead revolve around a series of case studies.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Documentary... A Must See.
A truthful look at how corporations have twisted things to suit their own bottom lines...and much more... well put together and very informative.
Published 4 months ago by Geoff Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars The Corporation
One of the best DVD's on the topic of corporate greed that has been released. Well written, well narrated and with credible accounts from experts in recognizable, respected and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Avid Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars A film everyone should watch - but not uncritically
I believe this is a documentary of the first rank that literally everyone should see. But I also don't entirely disagree with what the reviewers who gave it only one star had to... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Theo
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT FILM :-)
Fantastic, entertaining, enlightening, educational film. I agree - not only every single secondary school student should watch it AND have discussions/debates afterwards in their... Read more
Published on Sept. 27 2009 by Concerned World Citizen
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT THE 2 DISC VERSION
Mark Achbar's review is included inappropriately under this edition of the DVD. It lends the impression that this is a 2 DVD set.

THIS edition is a single DVD. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2009 by CaptStLucifer
5.0 out of 5 stars How did corporations come to dominate?
A great testament to the way the corprate world has influenced and shaped our societies and, perhaps, ourselves. Read more
Published on April 8 2007 by Aaron Donnelly
1.0 out of 5 stars Irresponsible nonsense that hurts its own cause
This film could easily be part of a right-wing conspiracy to simultaneously lure left-wingers into a sense of "woe-is-me" helplessness AND to make them look unfocussed, hysterical... Read more
Published on July 8 2006 by Mistress La Spliffe
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak and simplistic
Highly simplified view of the world sure to please socialists - an unbalanced and silly view towards real world economics and human behaviour. Read more
Published on Dec 22 2005
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