ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
The Corporation is psychotic
Written by: Joel Bakan
Directed by: Jennifer Abbott and Mark Achbar
By Maggie Wrobel
YO’ MOUTH! Everything’s for sale in the world of The Corporation,
the new No Logo of documentaries by the makers of Manufacturing Consent.
When controversial left-wing documentary maker Michael Moore won the Academy
Award for his film Bowling for Columbine last year, he achieved several feats.
Unfortunately, one of those achievements was that every documentary feature
with the slightest inkling of a leftist mentality would be compared to Moore’s
Rest assured The Corporation is not Bowling for Corporations, but instead
a slick and earnest look at the way corporations function in our society.
Based on the notion that an “odd legal fiction” exists in today’s
society, which suggests a corporation has the same rights as a person, the
film is essentially a visual essay that offers a variety of viewpoints on this
The bravest thing about The Corporation is that its creators Achbar, Abbott
and Bakan allow the people behind the corporations to speak for themselves.
There are no leading questions, no tongue-in-cheek mockery; just a smooth-voiced
narrator declaring the facts and commentaries by a variety of media and corporate
Aforementioned author and director Michael Moore appears in the film, along
with left-wing luminaries Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky. Although their star
power and wisdom is undeniable, other people stand out even more than these
established political celebrities.
Various CEOs appear and give testimonials about the way they perceive their
roles in the corporate landscape and how they think this landscape is shaping
the world as a whole.
Overall, the film is effective in conveying its message without being overtly
preachy. It raises questions about the necessity of corporate reform and uses
interesting and revealing anecdotes
Last Friday, Achbar made a special appearance at the Wellington 8 cinema to
celebrate the film’s London opening.
Achbar, whose impressive filmmaking resume also includes the renowned Manufacturing
Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, which is the top-grossing documentary
feature in Canadian history, introduced the film and stayed afterwards to answer
audience members’ questions.
“We don’t have a gazillion dollar advertising budget,” he
explained when asked why he was making a personal appearance. “It’s
important not only because I like to connect with people who are interested
in what we’re doing, but also because I want to get as many people as
possible to come see the film.”
Achbar also revealed that Richard Ivey School of Business professor Tima Bansal
has contacted him and was interested in putting together a study guide to go
with the film. He said he hopes to eventually see the film added to high school
and university curriculums.
“It would be great to get [members of Parliament] to see it,” he
enthused. “I’ve been thinking about sending them all copies.”
Catch The Corporation during its current run at the Wellington 8 cinema and
read more online at the official Corporation website, www.thecorporation.com..