Frontline investigative correspondent Lowell Bergman examines the shadowy world of international bribery in this hour-long title from executive producer David Fanning, traipsing around the world and unraveling how conniving multinational banks and other such corporations create slush funds, set up front companies and dole out secret payments, all to help secure billions of dollars in business. It’s like the condensed soup version of the story of Enron, only more dispiriting, because you realize that systematic regulatory abuse and payola seems to be all part of (big) business as usual.
But is it necessarily so? Led by prosecutors at the U.S. Department of Justice and their allies abroad, and emboldened by a newly resurgent sense that corporate crime and bribery has an overdue beatdown coming, these nefarious practices are now facing new scrutiny, and an international crackdown that hasn’t been seen in decades. At the center of this, and Black Money, is a controversial ongoing investigation into the British-based BAE Systems, and allegations about bribes centered around its extremely lucrative defense, security and aerospace contracts.
Housed in a regular plastic Amaray case with a color cover picture of Benjamin Franklins that you won’t be able to photocopy and use as a template to make your own counterfeit loot, alas, Black Money comes to DVD presented in anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen, with a stereo English language audio track that more than adequately handles the meager aural demands of this talking-head title. Apart from some some typical PBS educational/promotional linkage, there are no other supplemental features, alas. To purchase the DVD, click here. B+ (Movie) C (Disc)