'The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel' Isn't as Essential as the Title Claims Directed by Joel Bakan and Jennifer Abbott
Starring Chris Barrett, Heidi Boghosian, Anjali Appadurai
Published Nov 11, 2020Back in 2003, The Corporation, a film created with the intent of exposing the negative consequences of corporatism in North America, was released. In the lengthy two-and-a-half hour documentary, Canadian filmmakers Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, critically observed the corporations of today and made a damning exposé. In the end, a question was asked: if these multimillion-dollar corporations were people, what kind of person would they be?
Fast forward to 2020; as with many things since 2003, our capitalist society has evolved — thus arrives The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel, which seeks once again to revisit the themes of the past, but with an update. While it cannot be denied that so much has changed in nearly 20 years, the urgency and relevancy of this new film have a somewhat dimmed effect.
Like its predecessor, The New Corporation is a capably made film that effectively assembles its research, interview subjects and arguments; while the nefarious actions of the corporate world remain as devious as ever, knowledge of their conduct has become more mainstream, and so it is not so much that what this sequel is presenting is not important, but rather that it hardly gives viewers any new insight. Indeed, the question does arise; is this sequel really as necessary as its title claims?
There are new players introduced — including JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon — as well as the coverage of major events, such as the 2008 financial crisis and the Trump presidency, which certainly changes things up from the first time around, but these developments do little in adding to the striking commentaries of the original film.
With some interesting footage of global leaders at the World Economic Forum and details surrounding the life of refugees, The New Corporation does contain some enticing material — just not enough of it is all that startling anymore. (Mongrel Media)