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Rated 3.02 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A Scary Documentary
by Betty Jo Tucker

Downfall: The Case Against Boeing, a terrific documentary directed by Rory Kennedy, is one of the scariest films I’ve seen in a long time. However, it's definitely a movie that matters. Because I am afraid of flying, it reinforced some of my feelings about that form of transportation. But mostly, this movie made me so angry I wanted to scream at the screen. The real-life villains are unmasked, but we can’t help wondering how many more shenanigans still go on in corporations that ignore safety and pay more attention to their shareholders than their employees and customers.

Downfall reveals details of the Boeing mess involving two tragic crashes of their 737 Max planes, which were made to take business away from Airbus back in 2019. This all came about after Boeing joined a partnership with McDonnell Douglas and moved from Seattle to Chicago. That changed practically everything. An entirely different corporate culture took over, one that honored greed over anything else.               

For many years Boeing was great

making airplanes with no bad fate.

Then two crashes too close in time

killed many, so who caused this crime?


Pilots were blamed but that’s not right.

Both planes were new, so pilots fight.

No training given, saving dough.

The company made plenty though.


Two crashes caused by sheer bad acts.

“Downfall” reveals all the sad facts

Documentary rings the bell.

This bold movie informs us well.

We learn these 737 Max planes have a new system installed called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) but to save money Boeing insists the pilots don’t need additional training. This film also includes reporter Andy Pasztor’s crucial interviews with employees and family members of the victims plus comments of  pilots (even “Sully” Sullenburger), Senator Peter DeFazio (chairman of the committee investigating this horrific situation), safety experts and more. One of the most dramatic scenes shows families holding up large photos of their loved ones they lost in the 737 Max crashes. And we also hear from then Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg, who finally gets fired but ends up with a 60 million dollar retirement benefit. Go figure!

Kudos to director Rory Kennedy as well as to writers Mark Bailey and Keven McAlester for putting together all this devastating information. It’s hard to take, but we need to know how important it is for corporations to consider safety before greed.             

 Greed is so destructive it destroys everything. --- Eartha Kitt

I believe the vulpine of greed of the corporate world is cut from the very same cloth as the tyrant of history. --- Adam Nevill

(Released by Netflix and rated “PG-13” by MPAA.)  

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