(2003) dir. Jennifer Abbott, Mark Achbar
This film is pretty disturbing. Disturbing and enlightening.
I definitely found the description of the rise of the corporation as an entity in America to be fascinating, how it evolved, in a sense, through loopholes and far outside of its initial intent. And though, in a way, I suppose, I knew that corporations are treated judicially as “a person”, I guess I didn’t know that explicitly. And it is interesting the way that the film makes a psychoanalytical analysis of “the corporation” as if it was a person and how it would essentially be seen as pathological.
The pervasiveness of the institution in contemporary society, the power handed over to organizations whose blind ambition is profits over humanity, and the archness of this situation in which we now sit is downright frightening. Living in a very politically “left” part of the world, one almost becomes a bit numbed by some of the rhetoric that is posed at the mainstream culture and politics of the US. I mean, I think that George W. Bush fronts the most horrific government that has possibly ever led this country, on so many fronts, but I do have a tendency to overlook the enormity of what all that represents. How far reaching this marriage of business and state has gone and the ramifications of the greed.
Living in the United States, at a middle class level, the opiates of society are the ease and comforts of the society. How sickeningly true it is to hear how this country’s largest moneymaking corporations exploit the world’s poor. How horrific the soullessness and callousness of the attitude of staking out the entire world, from every inch of the planet to its skies, down to the DNA of every living creature on the Earth.
The film is highly enlightening, though frightening. And while the film attempts to put a positive spin on the end, to show the ways that successes have been made at chipping away at this monstrous world of business, it is striking and depressing.
The whole point of a film like this, while trying to, no doubt, be as objective as it can, is essentially agit-prop. The film even ends with a few interviewees focusing on how ultimately, the actions must be that of the viewers. And it leaves me wondering how and what I might do in response. Does it mean that the film worked?