Movies about corporate ethics

I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my copy of the new movie,
“Wal-mart – The High Cost of Low Price.”

I’m anxious not because I expect the movie to be good (which I don’t), or even because I’ve got misgivings about Wal-Mart (I’m actually kind of ambivalent about the company.) I’m anxious because I’m currently fascinated with documentary movies as a way of debating (or preaching about) corporate ethics. Movies have the dual advantages, in this regard, of a) being able to attract a broad audience, and b) being long enough to do a thorough job of explaining the issues. That is, if an understanding of the issues is what you’re trying to promote.

Here’s the low-down on the few I’ve seen recently:

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. This one was terrific. Lots of gory details. Not preachy, blissfully free of commentary from ethics experts. Here’s a review I wrote.

The Corporation
This one was awful. The kind of stuff you feed to undergraduate Critical Thinking classes to let them practice spotting fallacies. A friend of mine referred to this one as “the intellectual equivalent of snuff porn.”
Here’s a review of the movie, by Joe Heath.
Here’s a review by Andrew Potter of the book on which it was based.
Here’s a reasonably balanced story about the book, courtesy of CNN.

Watch this space for a review of the Wal-Mart movie, shortly after it arrives on my desk.

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