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by Karen Pecota

Rory Kennedy, USA 2022

Academy-Award-nominated and prime time Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker, Rory Kennedy and her crew, partner with Netflix to bring to the streaming platform and its audience the chilling documentary DOWNFALL: THE CASE AGAINST BOEING.

Recently two Boeing aircraft tragedies of the company's 737-MAX airline within five months of each other is the catalyst for Kennedy's investigative journalism in documentary form. DOWNFALL: THE CASE AGAINST BOEING examines the reasons for the tragedies that cost the lives of 346 people and the role Wall Street's corrupt influence had on the once-iconic company.

Kennedy presents a timeline of Boeing's unfortunate missteps beginning with the McDonnell Douglas acquisition to take over the prized company that fostered a crumbling internal culture leading in part to the historic crashes.

Kennedy's film asserts that the testimony from aviation experts, news journalists, former Boeing employees, the United States Congress, and the families of victims reveals reckless cost-cutting and concealment at the expense of lives lost and a once-stellar reputation gone rogue.

A born Seattleite and fan of the Boeing operation pre-McDonnell Douglas collaboration, I wasn't all that keen on screening the film figuring it would be retelling the company's tragic 737-MAX crashes. Knowing several Boeing employees, current and past, my heart ached for each of them especially those who dealt with the complication of the tragedies.

Kennedy's fact sheet presented in the film is extremely interesting and I learned so much that goes beyond the catastrophes, though heartbreaking, to dig deeper into the causes of such an unprecedented mishap. Confronted with “the perils of America's corporate ethos,” Kennedy questions what drives corporations to hold in the balance: greed over human life.