We suggest the following films as great educational resources on corporate power (many additional films are also listed on the website "Films for Action"):
Shadows of Democracy is a collaborative film project between the producers behind the documentaries The Corporation, Shadows of Liberty, and Move to Amend's Legalize Democracy. takes the best of each of these three films into a short one-hour documentary highlighting the nature of corporate power, the absurdity of corporate personhood, and more about the grassroots movement to amend the Constitution to end corporate rule.
Click here to view the documentary. Password: Mashup (case-sensitive)
Legalize Democracy is a short documentary about Move to Amend, the national grassroots campaign to amend the US Constitution to unequivocally state that corporations are not people and money is not speech. This documentary details a history of Supreme Court decisions that gave corporations constitutionally protected rights and established that money is free speech.
Shadows of Liberty reveals the extraordinary truth behind the news media: censorship, cover-ups and corporate control. Filmmaker Jean-Philippe Tremblay takes a journey through the darker corridors of the US media, where global conglomerates call the shots, tracing the story of media manipulation through the years to pose a crucial question: why have we let a handful of powerful corporations write the news?
The Corporation explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Taking its status as a legal "person" to the logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist's couch to ask "What kind of person is it?" The Corporation includes interviews with 40 corporate insiders and critics - including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore - plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.
Pay 2 Play: Democracy's High Stakes examines how corporations have taken over our democracy as he follows outsiders using their voice to change the game in American politics. He ventures through high drama on the Ohio campaign trail, uncovers the secret history of America’s favorite game, and explores the underworld of Los Angeles street art in a humorous odyssey that reveals how much of a difference one person can make.
The Story of Citizens United v. FEC: Why Democracy Only Works When People Are in Charge: 8-minute video explaining the highlights of why corporation shouldn't have constitutional rights. Oversimplifies things a bit by focusing so much on the Citizens United decision (it wasn't like things were working so well before!) but a great introduction to the issue and starting point for discussion.
Some additional suggestions:
Food Inc: The global food production business, controlled primarily by a handful of multinational corporations, has large quantities of food at low direct inputs (most often subsidized) resulting in enormous profits, which in turn results in greater control of the global supply of food sources within these few companies. Health and safety are often overlooked by the companies, and are often overlooked by the government in an effort to provide cheap food regardless of these negative consequences.
Speaking Freely: Vol. 1: John Perkins: John Perkins, a former “economic hit man”, discusses the influence the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had on Third World countries as he convinced them to take on large -scale public works projects. These types of projects, funded by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), have served to enrich U.S. corporations while enslaving Third World countries into further debt.
Thirst: This film shows the anger and frustration people all over the world are encountering as corporations and governments try to privatize water. The quality and costs to the public are damaging, while profit is concentrated in the hands of few. The World Bank and MNCs issue billion-dollar contracts to governments to privatize water, while the costs fall on the local people and the land. Big Hydro projects disrupt the ecology and bring water prices to soaring costs, stealing the water from the hands of the people- violating basic human rights.
Ingredients: Community sustainable farming is an alternative approach to commercial farming. This local-based farming system provides quality fresh produce to local communities within the area. This approach to commercial farming cuts energy and oil costs, which accounts for 1/5 of our energy and oil use. Sustainable farming grows higher yields, is friendly to the health and ecology of the land, and grows what’s in season. This way of farming promotes biodiversity and a break from the industrial food system and fossil fuel dependence.
Frontline Heat: Through industrialization, multinational corporations and western influence are drastically impacting climate change. Loyal to their shareholders, CEOs ignore regulations and guidelines that reduce CO2 emissions and continue practices that harm the environment and contribute to global warming. Because congress is embedded with the corporations, regulatory agencies are inefficient in enforcing reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Auto companies lobby congress heavily to keep EPA standards low, continuing the same destructive political system that enhances the rich and suppresses the poor.
The End of Poverty?: This film discusses the truth of our global economics and the system’s failure as a whole. It breaks down the capitalistic methods, which only perpetuate poverty and increase the wealth for few, while enhancing the U.S economy and Global Transnational Corporations that profit off the labor of third world countries.
The Inside Job: This film looks at those responsible for our financial crisis in 2008. It illustrates the power of our financial sector and its ability to manipulate the market for short-term profit, while compromising the lives of millions. The practices set in place by private financial institutions cost millions of people their jobs and homes.
Life and Debt: This film analyzes the unfair practices of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It reveals the truth behind their enslaving loans, which only further a country into increasing debt by placing restrictions and regulations on their exported goods while lowering trade tariffs on imported goods. This creates unfair competition in the country’s markets, for foreign goods sold cheaper than local commodities outsell local businesses putting markets out of competition weakening the economy.
The 11th Hour: This film reveals the destructive impact man-kind is having on planet earth. Through our dependence of carbon-stored energy a.k.a fossil fuels, we no longer rely on current sunlight to produce our goods and materials; instead, we pollute the air and environment disrupting our global homeostasis- triggering global warming- all in the name of profit. Corporate interests and agendas are the main contributors to global warming. Their disregard for the environment and social responsibility to the people and ecosystems perpetuate the current state we’re in.
The War on Democracy: Venezuela, one of the many nations impoverished by U.S corporations and capitalistic greed, fought back for their rights through unity and dedication of the local people. Hugo Chavez, the leader for the people by the people of Venezuela, kicked out U.S interests, overthrew the elite ruling democracy, and established an independent sovereign nation free from the western threat of corporatocracy and imperialism.