The Corporate Coup D'Etat

Hot Docs 2019: The Corporate Coup D’Etat

Divide and Conquer

The Corporate Coup D’Etat from director Fred Peabody looks at America’s current political climate to show viewers that democracy is waning. The film makes its case by examining the country’s decaying democratic systems and drawing parallels to unravelling democracies in other nations.

In 2019, America is out of whack. The wealthy have it better than ever, the middle-class is evaporating, and the poor are getting crushed. Frustrated citizens have lost faith in the political system, and voter apathy allows greedy corporations to go unchecked.

Peabody’s film won’t track well with conservatives; it doesn’t paint the right-wing in a positive light. The doc gets to the bottom of America’s economic and political problems, tying the issues to soulless corporations, self-interested Republicans, and propaganda outlets like Fox News. Peabody doesn’t go easy on Democrats either and takes Obama and the Clinton’s to task.

The Corporate Coup D’Etat does get heady. It assumes viewers are up to speed with terms like global oligarchy class. But even if you’re not a political junky, it’s easy to follow the narrative breadcrumbs Peabody lays out to make his case. He interviews credible subjects including intellectual/activist Cornel West and Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi, as well as blue-collar workers who left the Democratic party to vote for Trump.


Trump preaches to his MAGA base about creating jobs, but his companies manufacture goods in foreign countries with cheap labour. Peabody’s doc explains how a deceitful and unqualified administration can thrive in the information age. He ties the Trump administration to its corporate puppet masters without sounding like an Oliver Stone-type conspiracy theorist.

Peabody’s doc makes the terrifying case that American democracy’s best days may be in the rear-view mirror. The well-researched doc features insightful interviewees and challenges people’s faith in America’s democratic institutions. It’s a must watch for political junkies.