In 2003, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan’s documentary The Corporation presented a critical examination of a legal decision that defined corporations as persons. In exposing the selfishness that capitalism breeds, and its damaging impact on society and the environment, the film forced many big brands to look inward and make changes.
While many businesses have publicly declared their commitment to be socially and environmentally responsible, Abbott and Bakan’s latest film The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel shows such proclamations are just lip service. The primary goal of corporations is still to feed shareholder’s insatiable hunger for more profit. Throughout the documentary Abbott and Bakan show how every aspect of life is now monetized.
This monetization has given some businesses more power and influence than governments. While a thorough examination of greed and corruption, there are few surprises here for those who saw The Corporation. However, by including the impact of COVID-19 and environmental and racial protests, the film provides a ray of light in an otherwise bleak tunnel. Despite the far-reaching tentacles of big brands, The New Corporation finds hope in the people boldly standing up to capitalist corruption at all levels.