Kanopy has a great selection of documentaries, including for business. Follow the all too relevant human drama of the great innovations and scandals in business and economics. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, learn how to run a Ponzi scheme, how chicken meat is really processed or learn how to spend money wisely. Here are my favorites among the collections, with a special mention to “The Man Who Discovered Capitalism” for covering a legendary figure in economics, and for covering a sword fight between Schumpeter and a librarian for the first five minutes.
1. Chasing Madoff
The compelling story of Harry Markopolos and his ten-year struggle to expose the harrowing truth behind the infamous Madoff scandal. Throughout the decade long investigation, Markopolos pieced together a chain of white-collar predators consisting of bankers, lieutenants and henchmen—all linked to the devastating Ponzi scheme.
With danger apparent, Markopolos and his loyal team relentlessly continued to pursue the frightening truth. Finding himself trapped in a web of epic deceit, the once unassuming Boston-based securities analyst turned vigilante investigator now feared for his life and the safety of his family, as he discovered no one would listen.
2. The Corporation
One hundred and fifty years ago, the Corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Today, it is a vivid, dramatic and pervasive presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy, and the Communist Party in other times and places, the Corporation is today’s dominant institution. But history humbles dominant institutions. All have been crushed, belittled or absorbed into some new order. The Corporation is unlikely to be the first to defy history.
This complex, exhaustive and highly entertaining documentary features illuminating interviews with Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Howard Zinn and many others. The Corporation charts the spectacular rise of an institution aimed at achieving specific economic goals as it also recounts victories against this apparently invincible force.
3. Silicon Cowboys
Three friends dream up the Compaq portable computer at a Texas diner in 1981 and soon find themselves battling mighty IBM for PC supremacy. Their improbable journey altered the future of computing and shaped the world we now know.
Winner of the Special Jury Prize – New Jersey Films Competition for Archival Filmmaking at the Montclair Film Festival.
4. Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!
In the 15 years since Super Size Me, the fast-food industry has undergone a makeover. Today, chain restaurants tout food that’s “healthy,” “organic,” and “natural.” Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock explores this new reality with an approach even more immersive and subversive than that used for his first film: he sets out to open his own chicken franchise.
We follow him every step of the way, from raising poultry and conjuring recipes to designing the brand and scouting a location. Spurlock brings his disarming humor to uncover the truths and lies behind this multibillion-dollar industry.
Nominated for the People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival.
5. The Man Who Discovered Capitalism
Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950) coined the term “creative destruction,” and generations of economists have adopted it as a shorthand description of the free market’s messy way of delivering progress. Schumpeter believed capitalism would be destroyed by its successes and would spawn an intellectual class that made its living by attacking the very bourgeois system of private property and freedom so necessary for the intellectual class’s existence. His work, however, is a sparkling defense of capitalism on the grounds that capitalism sparks entrepreneurship.