Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

The Corporation

24. June 2004 • Scott Trudeau
Email this article

This year is shaping up to be the year of the (semi?) popular political documentary. We had SuperSize Me, Control Room and starting tomorrow is Fahrenheit 9/11 .

Another award winning documentary, The Corporation has recently been released in the US. It has not yet opened in Michigan, but will open in July at the Detroit Film Theater and Royal Oak’s Main Art Theater, September in Grand Rapids and November in Sutton Bay. Ann Arbor, which gets more independent films than any other town in Michigan, is not yet on the schedule . Strange.

Based on Bakan’s book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power , the film is a timely, critical inquiry that invites CEOs, whistle-blowers, brokers, gurus, spies, players, pawns and pundits on a graphic and engaging quest to reveal the corporation’s inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures.



  1. I had the pleasure of seeing The Corporation at the Independent Film Festival of Boston, and meeting director Mark Achbar. Noam Chomsky was also in attendance, and both men participated in a Q&A after the screening. The film is good – not great. Its basic premise is that the modern corporation – when analyzed pscychologically – could be classified as a paranoid schizophrenic. Achbar is a little too preoccupied with that premise, but the film is at its best in its history of the corporation, and its portrayal of Ray Anderson, the chairman/CEO of a major carpet manufacturer. Anderson is a sort of born-again environmentalist, and his optimism and proactive energy is inspiring.

    It’s worth seeing. Like Michael Moore’s films, it is self-congratulatory. Unlike Michael Moore’s films, it is a little less glib. And like Michael Moore’s films, its audience will be like-minded, self-selecting. There’s nothing in it that will radically alter your perception of American capitalism, but go see it if for no other reason that it puts money in the pocket of a smart, provocative, skilled independent filmmaker.
       —Dave Horn    Jun. 25 '04 - 08:37AM    #
  2. I have two tickets for the press premiere in D.C. next Thursday, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it.

    I’m sure I won’t agree with a damn thing they say, but, hey, it’s free and movies like that tend to make me laugh.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 25 '04 - 12:27PM    #
  3. james,
    you know that the really funny thing is…i have found that some of the biggest critics of the corporate and investing world have been those that have worked in them…

    just a thought,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jun. 25 '04 - 12:32PM    #
  4. I had the pleasure of seeing The Corporation here in Montreal back at the beginign in May (it opened in April here!). It was a very well done movie. I hate Michael Moore but The Corporation is well thought out and presented.
       —Ben the Geographer    Jun. 29 '04 - 09:02AM    #