The subtitle of The New Corporation, the latest documentary from directors Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan, is a point against the idea of watching it. Nevertheless, here we are with The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel, which neatly sums up the animus contained within its point of view. As in their original, Abbott and Bakan work to describe our reality in a tone that has only grown more alarmed since 2003.
Still, they’re right to be upset. Powered by slick presentation, talking heads, and footage from as recently as this past summer, The New Corporation restates its thesis: our corporate overlords still loom way too large in our world. In fact, as pointed out, corporations have found new markets to exploit and continue to destroy much of the world in their endless drive to increase profits. This despite smiling “creative capitalist” solutions the film correctly calls out as total bullshit. Now, what I’m describing here is infuriating to watch, even as the film’s final third finds notes of optimism. At times it verges on anti-cinema, with images and facts so upsetting we almost don’t want to recognize them.
But I hesitate to rate The New Corporation lower than I have because, well, if there is a chance you still need convincing, if you are indeed looking at the current state of the world and shrugging your shoulders with a “what’s the big deal?” question forming in your mind, then, please, do what you can to see this movie. You—yes, you—have a part to play.