Feature Documentary| 90min & 60min | COMPLETED

A democracy should protect its citizens, especially the most vulnerable among them, but increasingly the United States is failing to do so. This investigative and persuasive documentary blends the insights of philosophers, authors and journalists with the experiences of citizens of the Rust Belt in the U.S. Midwest, where the steel industry once flourished, but where closures and outsourcing have left urban areas desolate and hopeless. It’s here that Donald Trump finds some of his most fervent supporters, as he’s not considered part of the hated Washington establishment.

Journalist Chris Hedges, argues that the crisis predates Donald Trump’s election by many years. Like his source of inspiration, the Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul, Hedges regards Trump as the symptom rather than the disease. Decades ago, U.S. democracy began selling its soul to big corporations. Lobbyists and corporatism took control in Washington, gradually undermining the will of the people. Journalist Naomi Klein recently described Trump’s administration as a “corporate coup d’état”. Hedges and Ralston Saul argue that the real coup took place long before.

Featuring: Chris Hedges, John Ralston Saul, Cornel West, Sarah Jaffe, Lee Fang, Maude Barlow, Phillip Martin

Director: Fred Peabody
Producers: Peter Raymont
Executive Producers: Peter Raymont, Fred Peabody, Steve Ord, Jeff Cohen, Hans Robert Eisenhauer

Produced by White Pine Pictures and Ventana-Film in association with Super Channel, ZDF/ARTE, and YLE
with the participation of Ontario Creates, Telefilm Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds through the
Theatrical Documentary Program and with the assistance of The Park Foundation and the Governments of Canada

International Sales Agent: Films Transit


Worldviews Sessions 2019, Toronto, ON
Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema, Sunday, June 12

Roxie, San Francisco, CA
Saturday, August 24th

Frightening . . . Compelling

Lauren Wissot

Global Comment

“Highly recommended. . . What’s most interesting about this film is all the interviews of people who voted for Obama and then Trump, or voted for Democrats for decades and then Trump, or voted for Bernie Sanders and then Trump. Some of them explain that they saw Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the worst two choices ever, and they chose the one who was new and different.”

David Swanson

Let's Try Democracy

A horror film of the most realistic kind.”

Frank Scheck

The Hollywood Reporter

“Enthralling. This in-depth study of Corporatism leaves no stone unturned.”

Mr. Will Wong

Mr. Will Wong

“Fred Peabody’s film persuasively shows how capitalist interests have been actively subverting the levers of democracy for a long time.”

Norman Wilner

Now Magazine


IDFA, Amsterdam, Netherlands
HUMAN International Documentary Film Festival, Oslo, Norway
Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Thessaloniki, Greece
Bermuda International Film Festival, Hamilton, Bermuda
DOCVILLE, Leuven, Belgium
FilmFestDC, Washington, DC
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto, ON
Cineplex Yonge-Dundas, Toronto, ON
Cineplex Cinema Eau-Claire, Calgary, AB
Cineplex International Village, Vancouver, BC


Divide and Conquer: The Corporate Coup d’Etat
Global Comment, December 25, 2018

Corporate Coup D’État
Let’s Try Democracy, March 13, 2019

FERNTV interview with Peter Raymont (Hot Docs Press Conference 2019)
FERNTV, April 16th, 2019

Hot Docs review: The Corporate Coup D’Etat
Now Magazine, April 18th, 2019

Toronto Hot Docs: “The Corporate Coup D’État”
Set The Bar, April 22nd, 2019

HOTDOCS: 2019 Documentary Festival Preview
Mr. Will Wong, April 22nd, 2019

Hot Docs 2019: ‘The Corporate Coup D’État’ Examines For-Profit Politics
Biff Bam Pop, April 23rd, 2019

Terence Corcoran: As Canada gets more conservative, Canadian activists try making America socialist
Financial Post, April 24th, 2019

John Ralston Saul on the Hot Docs premiere of The Corporate Coup d’Etat
First Weekend Club, April 24th, 2019

Original Cin, April 25th, 2019

My HOT LIST for Hot Docs
Film Food Stuff, April 25th, 2019

#HotDocs19: First Set of Capsule Reviews
One Movie, April 25th, 2019

Changing the Conversation About Festivals
POV Magazine, April 26th, 2019

In The Seats, April 28th, 2019

Episode 437 Fred Peabody & The Corporate Coup d’État
Face2Face Live, April 28th, 2019

Hot Docs 2019: The Corporate Coup D’état
Sean Kelly on Movies, May 3rd, 2019

‘The Corporate Coup D’Etat’: Film Review
The Hollywood Reporter, May 7th, 2019