The Corporation

Film. By Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott, and Joel Bakan. 2004. 145 minutes.
This award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts, and future of the modern business corporation and the increasing role it plays in society and our everyday lives.

Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century, 2001-
Themes: Economics

thecorpThis film is a virtual encyclopedia of the social and ecological consequences of corporate power. Although it would be tough for high school students to watch this long film straight through, The Corporation is astute and clever, and could easily be excerpted for classroom use.

The film traces the history of corporate personhood, and then plays on the conceit that corporations are legally people. If they are indeed people, then they are psychopaths, the film proposes. A running psychological profile throughout the film finds that the modern corporation demonstrates an incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, a reckless disregard for the safety of others, deceitfulness, an inability to experience guilt, and the failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors.

This is a rich and entertaining film with something here for high school classes ranging from U.S. history to economics, and from government to chemistry. Interviews with Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and Naomi Klein, with extended interviews on a companion DVD. [Description from Rethinking Schools.]

Includes interviews with: Maude Barlow, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Susan Linn, Michael Moore, Vandana Shiva, Howard Zinn, and many more.


Produced by Big Picture Media Corporation in association with TV ONTARIO. Released by Zeitgeist Films.

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