Corporations are not your friends. This is an absolute that audiences should come to understand when companies like Gillette or Apple release advertisements that take a liberally progressive stance on cultural shifts in society. However, how much power do you think Google or Amazon have not just in today’s political sphere, but in controlling your life as well? Probably more than you think, as the idea of corporatism, in which a state or organization is controlled by large interest groups, is something that director Fred Peabody explores in The Corporate Coup D’Etat.
Peabody frames Trump’s presidential election as the United States’ tipping point in how it has hegemonically fallen to these giant corporations, and has failed democracy on the individual level, leaving certain cities like Camden, New Jersey or Youngstown, Ohio, which were once booming factory towns, on the brink of destruction. He interviews residents from these cities, journalists, and authors, including John Ralston Saul, who coined the term “corporate coup d’etat” (where this documentary gets its name from) back in 1995, to further illustrate his thesis.
This documentary itself is an interesting footnote companion piece to Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9, which played at TIFF last year, but don’t be shocked to feel like you’ve never recognized this kind of pattern happening in Canada as well.